We meet Kasper Bosmans in a busy time. He just got back from Kathmandu and New York, is part of MuHKA’s re-opening exhibit ‘Een tijdelijk toekomstinstituut’ and meanwhile moved his studio as well. Despite the still bare interior, we feel at home with this young artist right away. From the moment on he starts talking about his work, it’s clear why he didn’t stay off the art world’s radar: with his clear vision and professional spirit, he’s ready for a very artful future.
Interview by Laura Bonne
Photos by Tiny Geeroms
Why do you work in multiple disciplines?
When I studied painting, we were taught to work in a very essentialist way. Your inquiry, your position in life: everything had to come together in one painting. It’s the kind of ‘attic room romanticism’ that falls to interest me. That’s why I work interdisciplinary. I want to keep things as broad as possible. Not depictions, but real materials are what I want to work with in the first place. So, when a bird is my subject, I will try to find organic materials of that specimen. Because real material doesn’t lie and is a lot more nuanced. That’s my field: pave the way for nuance and poetry.
Where does your interest in myths and folklore come from?
It’s not about money, because the creator is anonymous and the work speaks for itself. It’s the anecdotal value that interests me.
We can find symbolism in your work as well.
I use symbols, allegories or pictograms to picture things in an indirect way. To be less concluding, avoid summaries. Instead, I visually compile several things. But those symbols are just one part of my work: I use them to explain a complete art piece. It’s kind of a directory, but still a fragment of the whole. Furthermore, I use specimens and materials. They’re looser, more minimalistic and somehow more poetic as well, while my symbolic paintings give a naïve summary. That’s how my work can be a bit more universal.
How do you look at the relation between art and craftsmanship?
A while ago, I had the privilege to talk to Richard Tuttle, a brilliant artist. He said an artist should make sure he’s able to do nothing, because those moments are the most important. There’s a lot of truth in that idea. Labour can be addictive, because it’s also a distraction from thinking about what next step you’re going to take. I think that’s how art and craftsmanship are different. An artist tries to devaluate handicraft.
It’s not about money, because the creator is anonymous and the work speaks for itself
How important are aesthetics?
Very important. A piece must be legible and open, in part by evoking an aesthetic experience. The generation of conceptual artists before mine seemed rather objective. They used scientific methods and media such as photography. I think it’s still interesting to make aesthetic translations, though. A while ago, I’ve made a series of murals, sculptures and paintings in response to the 25th anniversary of Rotterdam’s Witte de With. They’re all experiential pieces. That kind of aesthetic experience makes it contemporary, keeps it fresh.
Kasper is one of the artists presenting his work at A Temporary Futures Institute, M HKA, Antwerp; an expo free for Subbacultcha members from 1 July until 31 August. Join the #subbafam here.