Tom Volkaert

Born in 1989

Hometown: Brussels

The Belgium artist Tom Volkaert’s sculptural work can be seen as a testimony to the materiality of memory as much as it is an ongoing tribute to the spiritual and shamanic force of art. The carefully balanced combination of refined artistic craftsmanship and the strategic use of unpredictability that comes into play when working with enamelled ceramics, epoxy or oxidized metal very much forms his fluid practice. Many of his works, such as the one displayed in “Mystic May”, consist of circles on legs, the so-called steering-wheels. These works are like totems: symbolic and organic artefacts that bring the otherworldly alien life in the cosmos to life and put us in touch with something radically different from us. It is as if these circles are portals to another cosmic dimension and something wholly other than human life is trying to get through, a lumpy otherworldly and alienated organic gesturing at us in a way that feels both familiar and estranging. But Volkaert’s steering wheels can also be seen as a totem for his personal life and memories, a form of navigating and coming to terms with his biography. In his practice, colours embody memories - especially personal ones. Some of them evoke and contain specific associations connected with his past and experiences. Others act on a more universal, symbolic level. “Steering Wheels & Horfeeceries” holds another very personal detail: By spraying his friends (Antwan Horfee, a Parisian artist who has a background in graffiti) name on the back of the sculpture, the work doesn’t only honour this special friendship but also reflects on the limits between private and public, sacrality and secularity, and how an art piece changes when it becomes part of the public landscape - when it gets reappropriated and transformed by gestures of civil disobedience such as graffiti.

Group Exhibition

The Community Centre

26.06. — 30.07.2021

Tom Volkaert