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Stief DeSmet


In his work and life Stief DeSmet is preoccupied by the ambiguous relationship between nature and culture and the manipulation of nature by human hands and vice versa. The artist seems to be constantly caught between his actual existence in a hectic, consumption-based modern-day society and a longing for a sublime, utopian natural state. At the same time, he is critical and in a subtle way he recognises the relativity of this longing for an idyllic fantasia with a serious dose of irony. By manipulating iconic images he counters possible significations, adds a stratum of significance, or deludes the spectator.
His studio practice isn't focused on one medium, instead he switches easily between painting and sculpting, video, performance, and installation art.

After living in Ghent and L.A. for several years he retreated to the peaceful village of Bachte-Maria-Leerne, a few kilometres south of Ghent near the idyllic Leie river, where he works and lives with his wife and two children, sheep, chickens, and a dog in a former farm. There he has several studio spaces with different specifications where you can find him at work, depending on the mood of the day. He also lives and works in the former village school of Minot in Burgundy, Fr.

DeSmet's work is found in private collections in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, U.S.A., Switzerland and in public spaces in Belgium, The Netherlands and France.


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