2 spiegels Skipper

Amberes photo m hka cc 2019 cc  16

George SmitsLuc Deleu

1973

Installation, 60 x 50 cm.
Materials: 2 mirrors

Collection: Courtesy Luc Deleu.

For George Smits, the creation of prosaic artforms for a broader public, served ‘a greater purpose’ than the bourgeois artworld. The extreme integrity with which he pursued this goal is the connecting thread that runs through his diverse body of work. He was a fixture of Antwerp’s underground art scene, affiliated with the Ercola group, and preferred to describe himself as a beatnik.

In 1973, Smits created several graphic wallpaper and mirror designs intended for the nautical themed cafe De Schipper in the centre of Antwerp, whose interior architecture was created by Luc Deleu. Smits designs are vivid and hallucinogenic, reflecting his alternative approach to life and work.

In 1970, Smits designed posters and created a permanent light show with light installations and liquid projections for Thalamus, a café famed for its nightlife in Brussels that he frequented and occasionally worked in. Thalamus was also a favourite haunt of artist-poet Sophie Podolski, whose work Roberto Bolaño greatly admired.

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