Sunday, December 06, 2009

This Week's Artist: Stephane Halleux

Every week for the next few months I'm going to showcase the work of artists that I really like and that you may not have heard of. To kick us off, here's Stephane Halleux, a young Belgian artist with an amazing steampunk style. Using junk like left-over machinery, old vinyl and leather jackets and sofas, he fashions these wonderful sculptures.

You can see more examples of his work here, here, here and especially here. His personal website is here.

Stephane was born on July 6th in Chenée (Liège), Belgium. Shortly thereafter – and very often against his will - he was taken off to museums where he was supposed to be awakened to art in all its forms. At the age of 10, while visiting the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the work of sculptor Jean Tinguely suddenly caught his attention. He discovered the magic power of strange play-like structures without any utility purpose.

In 1995, during his last high study year at Saint Luc in Liege, Stéphane created the first pieces that look similar to his current works. Passionately fond of Seventh Art and comic strips, he naturally began a career at an animation film studio in Luxemburg, first as a colourist, and then as a layout artist. Thus began a 7-year period of drawing uninteresting things (according to him) for other people without thse possibility of creating anything else. He finally became frustrated by the lack of creativity and industrialisation of animation, and left to work in a 'bank-sale' furniture company. Among these old treasures, his first passion again rose to the surface. (Official biography)

If you fancy seeing a few of Stephane's artworks first-hand, there are a half-dozen or so among the Steampunk Exhibition at Oxford's Museum of the History of Science. The show runs until 21st February 2010 and is well worth a look in if you're near Oxford. And it's free!

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