A hell of a lot of wax and bronze. Horned self-portraits of Jan Fabre in the sculpture series CHAPTERS I – XVIII
The “great and terrible” Belgian Maestro Jan Fabre won fame with provocative paintings, sculptures, installations and art performances. His work is so shocking that the degree of strangeness can compete with the works of the famous Damien Hirst, but this did not prevent them from showing off in the halls of the Louvre itself, opposite the immortal masterpieces of medieval painters and sculptors. Horns and hooves, bones, blood and internal organs, insects, crosses and tombstones, skeletons, death and other devils – this is a short list of the foundations on which the extraordinary creativity of Jan Fabre is based. Well, and a part of him, of course, – it is also in every, without exception, the work of the Belgian sculptor.
One of the most emotional works is a series of strange mystical sculptures called CHAPTERS I – XVIII. Carefully and carefully, with great love and tenderness, Jan Fabre cast realistic busts in wax and bronze… with his own portrait. And modified in the spirit of Mephistopheles and Lucifer, with all the appropriate attributes. Chic horns in the assortment, growing not only from the forehead of the self-portrait, but also from its nose and crown, elegantly complement and emphasize the demonic grimaces and charming vampire, or maybe demonic fangs. Perhaps it is a fashion for all the inexplicable, mystical and sinister, or perhaps the author just likes to play with otherworldly forces, depicting them in satirical sculptures, which he previously gave his own face.
Although long-time fans of the shocking work of Jan Fabre are not used to it. Their favorite has long called himself a modern mystic, and therefore does not hesitate to combine images of saints with demonic beings, and to depict the symbols of the Orthodox Church in an unusual, and in some cases incorrect, way. In the heart of the 54-year-old sculptor, a revolutionary, rebellious spirit rages, which pushes him to defiant and eccentric actions that have colored the official biography with bright colors. So, he decorated his street with a sign reading “Jan Fabre lives and works here”, painted a whole series of paintings with his own blood, created an incredible installation of 1.5 million scarab beetles, and for another installation built a giant worm, crowning it with a copy of his own head, which not only blinked and opened its mouth, but even talked. So strange horned sculptures from the series CHAPTERS I – XVIII, entirely cast from wax and bronze, are far from the limit of the author’s creative imagination and his non-standard ideas, which can be called delusional hallucinations.