Emilio López-Menchero

° 1960

Born in Mol (BE), lives in Brussels (BE).

An architect by training, Emilio López-Menchero graduated from the La Cambre Institute of Architecture in (Brussels) in 1986. He devoted his thesis to the Austrian architect Hans Hollein, author of the manifesto Alles ist Architektur (Everything is Architecture), published in 1967. He continued his training at La Cambre, in Jean Glibert’s ‘Urban Spaces’ workshop. His artistic work constantly refers to architecture and his works are often the result of a subtle blend between this discipline and visual arts. Since 1999, he has been teaching the ‘AA Art & Architecture’ course at the Cambre-Horta Institute.

Whether it is performativity, pictorial, photographic, sculptural or interventions in the urban space, López-Menchero's work attempts to intervene in reality. Body and identity are the pillars of his approach. The body as a scale, as a receptacle of nervous flux or as a fantasised ‘object’ is also the vehicle of all construction of identity. This construction is marked, in the work of the artist, by his dual cultural background, both Belgian and Spanish. The artist also has a special interest in migrants and the figure of the artist. This relationship with identity is particularly striking in his series Trying to be, initiated in 2000. He slips into the skin of artists (Pablo Picasso, Honoré de Balzac, Cindy Sherman, Frida Kahlo, James Ensor); but also of historical figures like Yasser Arafat, Rasputin or Che Guevara. These incarnations are based on archives that he tries to approach as accurately as possible by the photographic medium and for which dressing up requires an introspective approach helping the artist to compose his own identity.

His multidisciplinary and polymorphic pieces echo each other and highlight the codes of Western society. He has produced several works in the public space including Pasionaria. Dedicated to all migrants, this permanent intervention is a 4-metre-long megaphone located at the beginning of the Avenue Stalingrad in Brussels, near the Gare du Nord, at a key location of the Belgian capital where many events take place.

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