Mechelen, Belgium, 1977. Lives and works in Antwerp
Filip Vervaet is a sculptor. Classical sculpting techniques are used to tell a contemporary story in which man is being questioned in his relationship to the natural environment.In reliefs, sculptures, and space-filling installations, Vervaet confronts us with ourselves as a cultural being, as well as a natural being; as a maker, and as a wanderer in a world that wants to withdraw from our interventions.
Vervaet brings his craft into a contemporary context: sound, and light effects complement the bronze, aluminum, polyester, and glass in his work, like art-historical references (for example, Rodin) are freely combined with futuristic and sci-fi inspired visual components, that betray a dystopian worldview.
Plants and landscapes play a leading role in Vervaet's work. In Vervaet's work, nature presents itself as manipulated by man; his landscapes expose remains of human presence, with the suggestion of excavations.Vervaet is no stranger to grand gestures: he understands –and uses– the theatrical potential of the staging. What the down-to-earth Calvinist may understand as "the pursuit of effect" is in fact a well-understood use of visual seduction techniques that go back to the Baroque and Romantic periods.