One day I found a piece in a newspaper about Egungun's in Benin and Nigeria and was really fascinated about the costumes, the prints and bright colours. So I cut it out and stored it in a drawer.
Then I decided I wanted to do an exhibition with portraits of people all sitting down in the same way, a bit like a collection. In the Museo del Prado in Madrid there is a wall with 3 paintings from Velazquez, 3 large portraits that have quite the same look and feel. This kind of portrait is classic and iconic, and I believe it has an aesthetic that is very appealing, even more if there are a lot of them shown together.
Finally I combined all this and worked out a theme for the exhibition. I did some research on African rituals and costumes, found the photographs of Phyllis Galembo and transferred the masks, patterns, colours and prints to costumes of Western rituals, religion, commercials and popular culture. What if the Western world would adapt all of the African imagery and project it on even the oldest traditions. What would the Easter Bunny look like if he comes to our doors with a basket full of Easter eggs? And Mickey Mouse, on a picture with your children in Disneyland? Would they look like the Phantoms of Wing?
The exhibition started yesterday, the 7th of November and ends sunday, the 5th of December. Open only on fridays and weekends. The Print Gallery is situated in the Muntstraat 8 in Antwerp. Hope to see you there!