Art That Rocks: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter

Kim De Ruysscher is able to transform limestone into planks of wood, sandstone into rusty metal screws, marble into canvas, tubes of paint and boxes or cartons. The marble sculptures are far from Michelangelo’s David or classic sculpture and demonstrate how art is continually able to refresh itself and surprise us. The exciting pieces use stone in a truly unique and convincing way, giving a very old artistic medium new form characteristics. It is not just the works themselves which excite, but also the set up of the booth. With its shop-like appearance, the booth is unusual and fitting all at once. Signs pointing to sale items and a shelf presenting the “new collection,” which is ironically not De Ruysscher’s most recent work, are playful but serious – It is after all easy to forget that the point of an art fair is to sell art. Speaking with De Ruysscher shed light on what it all means.

A box with artist materials? Nope, just stone. Photo: Chris Phillips

Artparasites: What is this collection about?

Kim De Ruysscher: Throughout history people have claimed that it is the end of art, that there is no longer anything new. I say it is the beginning. Consumerism is no longer the most important thing, it is of course an aspect but what is important now is the quality; it is not made in China.

APs: Why did you choose to work with this medium?

KDRI chose the material because it’s the oldest material and it’s full of history and I like this element. It can never be another material like a resin.

APs: Which is your favorite piece?

KDRIt is difficult to say but maybe this one:

This is not a canvas. Photo: Chris Phillips

No one expects it. It is a painting but it is more a reflection on Kazimir Malevich who said it is the end of painting with his black square. But I go even farther. Firstly, you see it’s not actually a painting – it’s a sculpture – so I say we don’t need any more painting. Secondly, there is no image on top so you can talk about what is the sense of an image and, thirdly, it is itself an image. So it is a very complex work.

Take a closer look: it only looks like it is wood. Photo: Chris Phillips

If you are lucky enough to catch Kim De Ruysscher’s work at booth 65 in Preview Berlin, be perpared to have your sense: You will never look at a rock in the same way again!

Kim De Ruysscher [Price range of works: 1,200 – 65,000]

Article by Frances Cragg