Bjorn De Buck (45), better known as Bjorno or Bjornoart, has created artwork consisting of porcelain milk cartons with ‘missing people’ from the world of culture.
“No one denies that the federal government has taken very drastic measures since the outbreak of COVID-19 to limit the spread of the virus. This has had far-reaching consequences for the Belgian sports, culture and events sector in the past two years”, Bjornoarts says.
For this reason, the artist painted several well-known Flemish people, including Bart Peeters, Niels Albert and Niels Destadsbader, as missing persons on porcelain milk cartons.
“We have had to miss our Flemish stars for so long that we hardly know what they look like. That is why they are now immortalized on milk cartons. It is well known that people who look at the face of a missing person during breakfast pay more attention to (re)recognize the missing person.”
From March 4, the new exhibition by Belgian artist Bjornoart will run at XPO Antwerp.
Nello & Patrasche
Bjornoart is best known for the marble statue of ‘Nello & Patrasche: a story of friendship‘ that is located in front of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp. The design was by Batist Vermeulen, but Bjornoart carved it.
Now Bjornoart shows his latest work: portraits of people from the sports and culture sector on porcelain milk cartons and canvas. Among them well-known names such as Bart Peeters, Niels Destadsbader, Niels Albert, Steven Goegebeur, Robin Vissenaekens, Piet den Boer, Jens Geerts, Christophe Stienlet, Erwin Rutten and Wim Ballieu.
“It seemed to me a strong signal to start portraying well-known people within the culture and sports world in an unusual way in my new exhibition ‘The Power Of Eyes‘.”
“In the summer of 2021 I painted utility cabinets for the municipality of Tremelo with some of their most famous athletes. The reactions I received were so positive that I now wanted to get started with porcelain milk cartons. My new exhibition will debut in March. It will then be exactly two years ago that the first coronavirus countermeasures started and the culture and sports sector was hit hard. Every empty porcelain milk carton with a familiar head on it symbolizes empty concert halls, empty stadiums, empty theatres, standing in the cold,… In other words: these people are one of the many who have been almost literally missing in recent years”, says Bjornoart .
The ‘missing faces’ that will feature on Bjornoart’s porcelain milk cartons are all models with whom the artist himself has a personal bond.
“n my view, the muses in my collection are strong personalities who are open to innovation. They do not stand for perfection, but they do have a clear vision within their field. That makes them as ‘missing persons’ very intriguing and indispensable. To me, each of them symbolizes the strength it takes to reinvent yourself over and over in difficult times like COVID-19”, the artist continues.
It is no coincidence that it is mainly men who decorate the milk cartons.
“It was a gallery owner who holds an exhibition every year with the theme ‘sensual’ who pointed out to me that painters and artists mainly place femininity under this theme. Since my previous collection involved the purity of large-format still lifes with fruit and vegetables in the lead, I wanted to show that men can also embody sensuality in their pure form. By showing them in their strength and simplicity in their gaze and the object, I hereby make a reference to my previous collection. Missing persons are often depicted on milk cartons. The fact that the milk cartons are made of porcelain refers to the fragility of everyone’s person,” Bjornoart concludes.
Bjornoart’s solo exhibition ‘The Power Of Eyes’ runs from 4 to March 28, 2022 in XPO Antwerp, Leeuwenstraat 6, with breakfast on Sunday (with reservation) and weekend tastings.
Art and museums in Antwerp
- 2022 in the museums of Antwerp.
- ANTWERP | Inside Rubens House.
- ModeMuseum MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp 2021.
- ‘Freight’ and ‘Listen’ exhibitions at MAS in Antwerp.
- ‘Masculinities: Liberation through Photography’ exhibition at FOMU, Antwerp’s photography museum.
- Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp.
- ‘Eurasia – A Landscape of Mutability’ exhibition at Antwerp’s M HKA modern arts museum.
- ANTWERP | Geert De Weyer Gallery, a space for illustrators’ and comic strip authors’ art.
- ‘Congoville’: contemporary artists walk colonial paths at Middelheim Museum in Antwerp.
- Antwerp’s Letterenhuis ft. Paul van Ostaijen exhibition.
- ModeMuseum MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp reopens on 4 and 5 September 2021 with ‘Fashion 2.021 Antwerp – Fashion/Conscious’.
- Museum Plantin-Moretus will exhibit long-lost illustration by Rubens: ‘Opticorum Libri Sex’.
- Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp finally to reopen on 25 September 2022.
- ‘100 X Congo’ exhibition at Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp.
- ‘Cool Japan’ exhibition, Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS), Antwerp, 18 October 2019 to 19 April 2020.
- REVIEW | ‘Cool Japan’ exhibition at Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp from 18 October 2019 to 19 April 2020.
- ‘On the road’ at Museum Plantin-Moretus.
- Red Star Line Museum.
- Paleis op de Meir.
- Museum Mayer van den Bergh.
- DIVA, Antwerp Home of Diamonds.