Works and lives in Ostend
Brecht Heytens (°1989, Leuven) obtained his bachelor's degree in sculpture in 2014 at the KASK – School of Arts in Ghent. He then continued his studies at the Sint-Lukas art college in Brussels, where he completed his Masters in the Fine Arts in 2016. Between February and May 2019, Brecht Heytens was M‑resident, a residence space offered by M-Museum Leuven in its M‑ruimte in Cas-co.
In the practice of sculptor and installation builder Brecht Heytens (°1989, Leuven), the visual aspect and the concept of a work of art are closely linked and both fulfill an equally crucial role in his practice. Still, Heytens emphasizes that a work of art must be interesting to the viewer from the outside. It ensures that the viewer is encouraged to examine the work more closely, making the concept readable.
The artist divides his research into two tracks. On the one hand, he elaborates installations with neon, creating visual effects by means of light. He does not use the medium in its original function, namely as a light source, but as a means to create spatial drawings. In these works a lot of attention is paid to the design of the installation. Heytens is always looking for a functional design in which no part is superfluous. The choice of materials is also of great importance to the artist. Each matter has its unique properties and feel. By combining certain materials, the artist tries to arrive at a coherent story. The big difference is that Heytens' works of art have no function in the strict sense of the word; they function only within themselves.
In addition, the artist studies the aspect of ‘space’ and examines how a plastic intervention can have a physical impact on the space and the viewer. He does this, among other things, by experimenting with the physical properties of materials. Heytens investigates how far he can push a certain material before it collapses under its physical limitations. This creates monumental, yet very fragile interventions in the space that create a tension that can be felt by the viewer
“Brecht Heytens (°1989, Leuven) works out installations with neon, metal, wood, plaster, wax, and cables, in which he creates spatial drawings by means of light. Paying close attention to its visual impact, he plays with the functional and plastic aspects of fluorescent tubes. He carries out a visual and spatial research into their possibilities and limitations of those and combines them with other materials to create sculptures.”
“In each work, from a drawing on paper to a spatial play of dimensions and qualities, you feel the border between fragile and stable. As a spectator, you are part of the artist’s story, and his presence is never far away. Brecht Heytens urges you to look, to feel and to dare to waver, to turn and to stand up straight again.”