Bal Masqué @ Ruby Gallery, Brussels
We thought it's the right moment to share the newest exhibition which is now up in one of Brussels' newest art venues, Ruby Gallery. Showcasing the works by the local artists Bieke Buckinx and Yasmine Weiss alongside the street art icons Miss Van and D*Face, the show is aiming to present the gallery's philosophy - mixing the works by street artists along with the more traditional, studio pieces, and even more, putting a strong focus on showcasing female artists.
After the successful inaugural show back in October, which opened just before the nationwide lockdown but still resulted in a great response, the newly opened gallery launched by our Belgian friends entered 2021 with a group show entitled Bal Masque. The idea behind the show is to mark the historic moment in time when wearing masks became our reality, but also, pay tribute to the time of the year which is marked with Carnival tradition. In such regard, works by Miss Van couldn't be a better fit. Truly an icon of the international street art scene and art scene in general, Toulouse-born and Barcelona-based artist's poupées or dolls have earned her a well deserved worldwide recognition both through public space interventions and big scale murals, as well as studio painted variations and gallery presentations. And the acrylic on canvas and graphite on paper examples included in Bal Masque are showing how profound and delicate they've developed over the decades.
Another artist also frequently working with masked subjects is Yasmine Weiss, whose series Apocalypse Now is inspired by dystopian dreams she's had since childhood. Mixing those grand imageries with her lifelong obsession with religious rites and cultural traditions, French-Algerian artist creates often monumental scenes in which surreal dreamy atmosphere becomes too real when depicted with her masterful technique. On another hand, her fellow citizen, Bieke Buckinx, works with imagery that is much more relatable, almost too mundane, or even banal. Capturing everyday moments in a format of a traditional painting, she is looking at life with a no-nonsense and affectionate attitude, documenting the present-day reality along the way. Finally, the works by one of the UK's most recognized street art names, DFace, need no introduction. Active on the streets and in the galleries for multiple decades, his "apopcalyptic" imagery is subverting pop culture, consumerism, or romance, through bold, graphic imagery applicable to a variety of formats and materials. For this particular presentation, a London-based artist contributed with a piece painted on assembled found objects and a series of interventions on book covers. —Sasha Bogojev