An interview with Stef De Brabander – "Observing art or listening to art, in its broadest form..."

“Observing art or listening to art, in its broadest form, as well as experiencing and investigating nature are my biggest sources of inspiration for creation.”

Stef De Brabander was born in Lüdenscheid, Germany, in 1970. He studied Liberal Arts in Ghent, KASK (1991-1995). Stef De Brabander never starts with a blank canvas, this is the reason why he often uses recycled materials as a base. He is an artist who carefully thinks about whether an artwork is finished or not. As a painter, he is the translator of an amusing anecdote in search of an imperfection. He covers and discovers with color, resulting in playful colorful artworks.


Artyish asked him a few questions.


How did you get into making art? SDB: I graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, in 1996. Since then, I have been continuously working as a visual artist. Who or what has inspired you the most? SDB: Observing art or listening to art, in its broadest form, as well as experiencing and investigating nature are my biggest sources of inspiration for creation. There are two exhibitions that were very important to me and that left a lasting impression on me.

In 2013, I saw the exhibition Modernism, Belgian Abstract Art and Europe at the Museum of Fine Arts of Ghent. The works of Victor Servranckx, Marthe Donas, Georges Vantongerloo and the collages of Paul Joostens still inspire me, particularly. I also like to look at graphic work, architecture and interior design from that same period. Another exhibition was The Cut-Outs by Henri Matisse which I visited in 2014 at the Tate Modern. This exceptional cut and paste work is here to stay. Literature and music (especially Jazz and classical music) are also necessary to inspire me and make me creative. Other artists I look at with great interest are Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Willem De Kooning and Mike Kelley.

Do you follow a particular method for every new work? SDB: The act of working itself is a volatile event. It is about coming from one thing to another, without preconceived plan, with disorder and coincidence. It serves to temporarily regain the open-mindedness that we often lose in our daily reality. The created image thus results in a renewed and personal rediscovery of the world. It is a quest to create another order. A simple touch with the uniqueness, wonder and simplicity of life itself.


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