Kasper De Vos: UNO
Kasper De Vos, Michaël Van Remoortere, Vincent Van Meenen, Antony Hudek, Sofie Gielis
Plus One Galley & Stockmans Art Books, 2021
In his studio, De Vos’ collages, drawings and sculptures built a colorful and rather uncanny environment where vibrant imaginary landscapes were deeply rooted down by everyday absurdities. A visual storyteller, De Vos (Belgian artist, °1988) utilizes serendipity, surprise and salvaged social remnants as key elements in his process. Materials and idea are gathered on the natural route of any given day, and classical sculptural forms (such as base, bust, and body) are incorporated into odd combinations of contemporary throwaways.
A bulk of his artistic production, including miniature utopian mock-ups and works on paper, are classified as studies for future sculptures. Everything is material for something else and these sculptures tend to be constructed from found and frequently perishable materials; leftovers that De Vos transforms to make humorous reflections on the awkward intersections between culture and consumerism. Sandwiches become tables, plastic water bottle crates act as the base of temples, and raves are reduced to totemic systems (what de Vos called “Native Kitsch”) as elements from the artist’s environment are removed from their habitat and reassembled. Throughout his practice, De Vos flirts playfully with filth, cloaking serious social issues with a light hearted type of Trojan horse aesthetic where basic colors and forms carry questions about materials, motivations and social phenomena. He is a sculptor who seems to want to give away an object’s secrets.
As recurring elements in his daily routine, folklore and food play a significant role in his practice and the artist’s fascination with the latter goes beyond eating, leading him to activities like dumpster diving and selling vegetables every Friday in the market place. These experiences offered reminders that what we eat is usually coupled to what we buy and that while our dinner may speak to familiarity, folklore, pleasure and cultural pride, it also addresses economic and social contradictions like starvation and systemic overproduction that further contributes to mountains and mountains of waste.
De Vos seems to have a lot of fun diving into those mountains and takes his lessons from the market to heart when he explains that “part of the work is clearly about selling food and how to present it.”
Harlan Levey (Source: Plus One Gallery