Born in Antwerp (BE), works in Antwerp (BE), lives in Antwerp (BE).
The Antwerp visual artist and theatre maker Jan Fabre (b. 1958) is a multidisciplinary artistic phenomenon. He is an energetic performer who explores the limits of theatrical admissibility, and he is a dedicated visual artist who creates a universe with insects, scarabs and bic-drawings that abounds with mystical references, metamorphoses and personifications. Urges, desires, beauty and mortality are recurring themes, both on stage and in his visual work. The extent to which two blend together is already apparent in the 1978 performance "My body, my blood, my landscape": on stage, the artist carves into his own body and makes his first blood drawings on the spot. In the following years, he creates wedding dresses with green-blue beetles, inks night blue bic-drawings and makes gilded sculptures of animals and skulls. Fabre fantasises, glorifies and brandishes, yet hidden behind the dazzling beauty displayed, there is always a different world, a bloody and animalesque underworld. The figures that appear in his work are often angels, warriors, skeletons and animals. They are disguised messengers who emerge from the past to remind us of decay and destruction, of blood and suffering, of the animal in man and the human in the animal.
Text: Hans Willemse
Translations: Michael Meert
Items View all
Project voor Nachtelijk G...
Jan Fabre, Project voor Nachtelijk Grondgebied, 1979. Drawing, pencil, paper, 14 x (38.3 x 30.7 cm).
Homage to Stephen Hawking
Jan Fabre, Homage to Stephen Hawking, 2007. Prototype, silicone, paint, stainless steel, rubber, 16 x 28 x 28 cm.
Ik, aan het dromen [Me, D...
Jan Fabre, Ik, aan het dromen [Me, Dreaming], 1978. Sculpture, mannequin, plaster, clothes, smoked meat, table, chair, microscope, nails, thumbnails, table; 70x 50 x 80 cm, chair; 140 x 50 x 40 cm; figure; 160 x 50 x 100 cm, microscope; 20 x 10 x 10 cm.
Events View all
JAN FABRE. STIGMATA. Acti...
16 October 2013 - 16 February 2014.
A visual artist and theatrical writer, Jan Fabre presents for the first time at MAXXI the actions and performances from the 1970s through to
The Eightees – A Decade o...
17 June 2016 - 18 September 2016.
The Eighties – A Decade of Extremes presents a nuanced picture of the eighties with all its contrasts, cheerful and playful, but also hard an
Sanguine/Bloedrood. Luc T...
01 June 2018 - 16 September 2018.
During the cultural city festival Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires, Luc Tuymans confronts the genius of Baroque masters with the vision
21 May 2021 - 03 October 2021.
In this exhibition, contemporary art confronts closed-mindedness with an open approach. Inbetween the archaeological remains of the Teseum, y
Ensembles View all
The M HKA’s contemporary art collection has grown thanks to a combination of acquisitions, donations and long-term loans from various public
As an important source of inspiration and motivating force to create his performances, Jan Fabre cites his visit as a young student to an exh
The Space of Grounded Ima...
THE SPACE OF GROUNDED IMAGINATION This description came to our mind when discussing the possible proximity of artists such as Jan Fabre,