A visitor popped in at the Gallery, intrigued by what could be housed in the Botta building on the fourth floor.
After carefully looking at the different works of art, he told me that as a youngster, he was at school in the fifties and one of his teachers was the father of Koen Vanmechelen. One of the course given by him was ‘esthetics’, where the pupils were introduced in ‘Art’. Illustrations and images were projected on a screen, using a kind of overhead projectors. When images of Renaissance art, e.g. by Michelangelo where show like a David, Koen’s father quickly blurred the images showing the genital parts, that was a time when it was not done to show everything in its natural glory. His father was also active as an artist. Therefore, it is not surprising that the young Koen Vanmechelen was inspired very young by art infused within the family. At very young age Koen showed an interest in drawing, and made drawings of chicken, birds and peacocks. At home Koen was interested in chickens and had an incubator in his sleeping room, anxiously waiting for the eggs to hatch.
For several years Koen worked in restaurants, making wonderful desserts and pastries, before he decided to dedicate himself tot professional art making.
At that moment Koen was still looking for his artistic language until the moment he discovered the brilliant idea of crossing chickens and making this process the subject of his art. It has proven to be an everlasting, ever expanding concept. On his own multiplying and diversifying the ideas he got infused as a youngster. The next generation is indeed different from the previous one.