Over the years, the Belgian artist Filip Vervaet (b. 1977, Mechelen BE) has developed a particularly idiosyncratic visual language. Using the most diverse materials - from traditional bronze and metal to special paints used for auto-tuning and color filters - he combines various elements into a special universe. Art historical references, links to existing or non-existing civilizations, and allusions to science fiction come together in sculptures that exist in the fringes of past and future, and explore the boundaries of the medium.
From the post-apocalyptic, threatening scenes of his earlier work, Vervaet is increasingly evolving towards the artificial representation of nature. Exotic leaves that have been cast in aluminum and assembled into a new species; rough, irregular rock formations; bas-reliefs of imaginative plants in which the traces of his modeling fingers are still visible, they are all examples of the way in which Vervaet bends nature to his will. In this way, he refers to the perfectibility of nature, a recurring theme in his work.
He also increasingly brings to the fore the process-based aspects of his work by making casts of molds and turning them into new sculptures. This approach is fully in line with his obsession with the medium of sculpture. If initially he seemed to adhere to an existing tradition, he now increasingly goes his own way.
With his work, Vervaet aims to uncover the black holes in our perception, provide a glimpse of another reality, the subconscious, the supernatural. To this end, he also often works with the inside of the sculpture, as a metaphor for the 'subconscious'. The result is a psychedelic dream world that is as fascinating as it is elusive.
Sam Steverlynck, February 2018