In Flander's Fields, 2000. Polyurethane foam, horse hide, wood, metal.
Inside Me, 2010. Cast iron, horse skin, epoxy, iron, wood.
The Black Horse, 2003. Polyurethane foam, horse hide, wood, iron.
Marthe, 2008. Wax, epoxy, metal, wood and glass.
Berlinde de Bruyckere, born in 1964 in Ghent, Belgium, is an artist who creates sculptural works mainly in wax, wood, wool, horse hides, and hair. More recently, she has begun to use blankets in her work, which represent both comfort, warmth, and stability. She has been displaying work in solo and group exhibitions since 1986. Her work tends to deal with macabre imagery, and in her 2012 solo exhibition We Are All Flesh in Australia, she explores the macabre as well as the weaknesses all living creatures share through her amorphous, unthreatening horsehide forms and cast wax and resin human figures.
I think de Bruyckere's work is hauntingly beautiful and provocative, warm and disconcerting all at once. I chose Berlinde de Bruyckere because her work, though grotesque, does not rely on shock value - although it's creepy to some at first, and it was for me, it brings forth memories of vulnerability, familiarity, dread, depression, and a kinship with nature. There is a kind of solemnity and calm quiet that surrounds her work and even if it scares me at first I always seem to find a niche to settle into. When looking at this work, it's important to look at her execution but then to examine the feelings the work brings forward in yourself. There is so much more here than just creepy imagery.