Born in Ghent in 1971, Arne Quinze is a Belgian contemporary artist, painter, and sculptor living in Sint-Martens-Latem, near Ghent. 30 years ago, Quinze started as a graffiti artist. However, today, his work ranges from captivating abstract paintings in oil to massive metal installations in public spaces around the world. Through his work, he aims to spark conversation between spectators and ultimately, encourage them to reconnect with their earthly roots by showing nature’s divine beauty.How did you get into art?
I was born an artist. It is impossible to escape what runs in your veins. Making art is my way of communicating. It is how I express myself. Ever since I was young, I had to make art. When I was a teenager, we moved away from the vast countryside where I grew up to Brussels. I imagined the city to be super diverse and colorful like in science fiction movies. However, to my great disappointment, the opposite was true. I arrived in a grey and monotonous city with total absence of my beloved nature. I quickly started doing graffiti to make cities more colorful and vivid again. I travelled all over the world and discovered more grey and boring cities. It became my quest to create open air museums in cities by doing graffiti and eventually also by installing monumental installations.
How would you describe your style? What makes your art special?
I don’t belong to any specific style. Only the future will tell what my style will be.
How do you go about developing your work?
Every morning, I start my day with an inspiring walk in my atelier’s wildflower garden which I liked to call my “labo”. All the inspiration for my artwork originates from this garden. I like to study and observe all the shapes and forms of the wildflowers throughout the changing seasons of the year and then convey them on my canvas or translate them into my sculptures. When I paint, I follow my instinct. It is my gut feeling that guides me when I stand in front of the canvas, a feeling I picked up on the streets during my graffiti career. In order to create a sculpture, on the other hand, I operate more reasoned. I first start by making a drawing. Then follows a rendering and a maquette to then finally create the sculpture from there.
Who or what influences you?
I love science fiction movies such as Ghost in the shell and annihilation. They fuel my creative thoughts. There are so many things that influence and inspire me. I like to delve into everything that is experimental: music, dance, architecture, movies. From Monet to Chris Burdon, from the movie The Cremaster Cycle to music from Aphex Twin.
What are you planning to do next?
Next month, I will be installing a sculpture in front of the Giza pyramids for Art d’Egypte. It will represent a time gate entering in dialogue with the pyramids. I am very much looking forward to the results. Furthermore, me and my team are now preparing everything for a major solo exhibition for the next Venice Biennale. There, I will uncover an entirely new concept. I will be assuming the persona of an alien, immersing myself in the beauty and complexity of the natural world, seeking to recreate a long-lost harmony. And finally, we will be installing a permanent sculpture in the financial district of London very soon.Photos: Dave Bruel