Start Date

Dec 15, 2019

End Date

Jan 12, 2020

Artistic Midlife Crisis of a Storyteller - Solo Exhibition Tom Woestenborghs @ Pennings Foundation

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with Pennings Foundation in Eindhoven.

On the day he turned 40, visual artist Tom Woestenborghs decided to focus solely on the making process for a year. For a year he wanted to make art without ulterior motives. He limited himself to three themes: floral still life, nude and abstract. But making art without ulterior motive soon turned out to be an impossible task.

The flower still life and the nude are ancient themes in art history, to which meanings are attached. Flowers are perishable and for that reason have been associated with memento mori for centuries. Female nude has been about feminine beauty for centuries, but also evokes social discussions about identity and power relations in our time. And forces the viewer into the role of voyeur. Even abstract art is not without meaning. Shapes, colors and use of materials still evoke associations.

In short, even if the artist says he has no underlying idea with his work, the works still evoke associations with the viewer. Simply through our experience with interpreting images. Art must be about something and there is no escaping it.

Tom Woestenborghs is a visual artist who uses photographic image as the basis for collages. He collects and archives images from newspapers, magazines, videos and from the internet, to use them some other time. If an artist takes existing image out of context and uses it as a work of art, then he has a purpose for that. As an artist you raise a social issue for discussion.

The work of Woestenborghs seems photographic, but in fact it is a collage technique, made up of many layers of adhesive plastic, up to twelve layers. Trained as a painter, Woestenborghs switched to adhesive plastic because this material has a brighter effect than paint. He shows his collages as 'paintings' but also as light boxes.

Tom Woestenborghs (1978) studied at St. Lucas (master degree in painting) in Antwerp, and at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (postgraduate), also in Antwerp. He lives in Merksplas and has his studio in Hoogstraten, Belgium.


Pennings Foundation