Device Gallery

Artists at Device


Kazihiko Nakamura

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Olivier Pauwels

During his childhood his grandfather told him stories about World War II and Nazism. These stories had a tremendous effect on Olivier Pauwels. They would also influence his oeuvre. He is painting and making sculptures for about 15 years now. A vital moment in this artistic career was when the young artist came in contact with puppets because of a school assignment. While browsing the attic he got fascinated by puppets and the bizarre world that he created around them. But he didn't only come across puppets. He also found instruments and numerous apparatuses, an old radio for example. He dismantled those instruments, linked their components and created a being without realizing his first cyberpuppet was born.

His skilful hands gave shape to his creatures and at times it made him shiver. His grandfather's stories concerning war and brainwashing kept haunting him. His creatures were a protest against cloning. Changing life and nature irritates him immensely.

A classical doll serves as the base figure for his creations. Every creation is cast in polyester and painted. Next recuperated materials and objects are attached to or implanted on their bodies. Some of the attributes on his creations move so that one day the army of puppets might jump into action. Since they were all made from recuperated material they are already considerably battered and therefore show no fear. They would carry out orders seamlessly when their creator commands them. One day, somewhere, perhaps.

Olivier Pauwels creates fascinating cyberpuppets that carry the cruelties of former days, today and tomorrow inside them. His creations have to make spectators think. And yet Olivier Pauwels is not a doomsayer. He is trying to warn us of what might happen one day but still cherishes what is beautiful, inside and outside.

He is creating a particularly dual artistic world because next to the strong message and sometimes cruel nature the puppets are and still remain dolls. Moreover there is always that pinch of humor, their attitude, their thin legs, and so on.

Olivier Pauwels continues to surprise.

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