Art Discovered and uncovered Berlinde de Bruyckere

We are all flesh

This is the start of a new category.   Art discovered and uncovered is about artist who are either famous or unknown.  The only criterion for their inclusion is that I have never come across them before and I find them interesting – I hope you will too.

In Doubt

Berlinde de Bruyckere’s  (b. Ghent 1964) work caught my eye a couple of weeks ago.  Her wax sculptures feature the human figure and it’s humanity and suffering.  The media she uses include wool, wax, hair, wood and iron among many.  The figure is distorted and thereby a bit disturbing.  She explores religious  and mythological aspects which put me in mind of one of my very favorite artists (who I shall get around to when I feel can do him justice)  Francis Bacon.

Bacon study 1953 or screaming pope

In some ways her depictions of flesh resemble meat (also Bacon) who depicted the human condition – and some would argue in an  inhuman way.  I like this work, it intrigues me, some of the figures like are very organic.  I have often thought how some trees resemble figures in their natural posture and sometimes obscene gestures – just  naturally.

There are no screaming heads here (like with Bacon) the artist has left them off.  Her intention is not to shock but to empathise with the figure, to discern the humanness in its anguish.  She handpaints layers of wax to make up this very realistic flesh that looks bruised and vulnerable.


In ‘The Black Horse, the artist covers her casts of the horses bodies with skins and poses them.  this makes them uncomfortably realistic strangely vulnerable and tactile. I will definitely go to see one of her exhibitions if I get the opportunity!

The artist at the Saachi Gallery here

More information about this artist here

lots of info about this artist here

More of her sculpture here

‘We are all Flesh from here

6 thoughts on “Art Discovered and uncovered Berlinde de Bruyckere

  1. I find this rather interesting in that it does cause emotion in me when I view them. It is as though the artist takes the mental anguish the figures feel and passes it on to the body. The tired horse is so very believable it really saddens me. The first one that is contorted makes me feel tense. Remarkable, because I think that is what the artist was trying to evoke in her viewers. Good post, Lynda!

  2. Thanks Leslie, the horse is so graceful and like you say, tired, but I like the figure that seems to trail roots, like it’s been uprooted – very organic. Glad you found the artist interesting like me 🙂 thanks for visiting – appreciated 🙂

  3. Nice new category idea with an intriguing artist to start things off. Wax is so fleshy already. I can see how it lends itself well to this artist’s dramatic sculptures. I definitely can feel the pathos in some of her work.

  4. Glad you like the new category Al 🙂 I love finding these new artists. Wax is a great substance – look at how realistic it can be when molded into fruit – a great media. Thanks for your comment – always appreciated and welcome 🙂

  5. lynda,

    the wax figures are by far the most evocative pieces i have seen. yes, they are quite disturbing but i must say, that the artist has this raw power to distort images and play with the imagination. the artist is able to transcend the unspeakable but subliminally confrontational artpieces. surreal indeed.

    nice blogpost. thank you.

  6. Fab comment Hames! yes the ability to transcend – every artist’s dream and very difficult to do indeed! I love art that affects me -and as soon as I saw this – it did 🙂 So so pleased you loved this Hames!!! Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment – very appreciated indeed 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: