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Nico Vaerewijck is an artist who is fascinated and inspired by subjects that appeal to reality. The images are often based on old footage of photographs (filmstills) and documentaries, often based upon political and social matters. Where the paintings have a seemingly obvious reality, the images are manipulated in such a way that the viewer is left orphaned. The viewer is initially familiar with the work, but is facing a blurred image that did not immediately relate to the subject, which makes the work simultaneously mysterious and inscrutable.
Nico Vaerewijck was laureate Legaat Hulstaert in 2012 and also nominated for Belfius Art 2013.
In the latest exhibition 'Nothing to halt', Nico Vaerewijck wanted to show that a brief look at history shows us that most of the issues are still topical. There are still a number of countries that have a non-functional democratic system, this for example is shown in the 'Mugadishutimes' series around the former Somali President Maxamed Siyaad Barre (1969 to 1991).
In the work 'They were worried workers would go outside, not work and waste time # 2', the mass production is raised to question. The work, however, does not literally show what is produced because it isn’t relevant, but the emphasis lies in the absurdity, and especially in the mass of people employed, exploited and thus losing some of their freedom. Small detail, in this specific factory 133 employees got killed in a fire because the emergency exits were closed (they were worried workers would go outside, not work and waste time).
In all of the works there is a very ominous atmosphere. All works revolve around isolation or a form of a lack of freedom. In all the works it’s unclear what is really going on in the characters, their personality or individuality is wiped away.