The coastal town of Oostende in Belgium hosted the second edition of their The Crystal Ship festival last week. Bringing over carefuly curated selection of international and local artist, the event produced some 20 new public pieces through the city.
Photos by Sasha Bogojev
Showing strong focus and consistency, the well curated lineup included mostly artists whose public works strongly relies on their studio practice or signature aesthetic. In this manner Axel Void painted one of the largest and most impressive works of this year's edition. Based on a photograph the artist found while meeting the people of the neighborhood he worked in, the subtle image depicts one of the residents saying goodbye to her godmother. Both loving and uplifting, yet somewhat haunting, the piece is artist's tribute to simple, mundane life of the locals and the weight of everyday coexistence. Not far from him Hyuro painted a recognizable piece showing women's hands putting together a shattered ceramic bowl. Inspired by the fact that Belgium spent 589 days without an elected government and is the home of EU, the Argentinian-born artist used this poetic image to address the fragility of life in all its aspects.
Another piece inspired by the locals was painted by Sebas Velasco who created an image of a local football fan in a vicinity of a stadium. Also, Belgian artist Strook created a large wooden portrait assemblage from locally salvaged wood, joining their stories and histories into a new form now presented on a high facade in a prominent spot in the city. Argentinian artist Bosoletti successfully realized one of the most original concepts - painting a large negative of a monochrome portrait photograph from after the WWII. Paying tribute to the efforts needed to explore and remember the past, the only way to see this piece is once it's digitally inverted. –Sasha Bogojev