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Koen Vanmechelen

Bio

Koen Vanmechelen was born in 1965 in Sint-Truiden, Belgium, and lives and works in Meeuwen. His artistic career revolves around the theme of the chicken and the egg: these symbols connect Vanmechelen’s art to scientific, political, philosophical, and ethical issues.

He is a self-taught artist who studied hotel management in Antwerp and worked as a cook and pastry chef in top Belgian restaurants for several years. His practice ranges from highly expressive paintings, drawings, photography, video, installations, and sculptures. He reflects on issues related to biodiversity, the evolution of the human species, and connections between the worlds of art and science, working with experts and scientists from around the world. His works are extremely diverse and include: The Cosmogolem, a wooden sculpture adopted around the world as a symbol for children’s rights; The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (CCP), the core of his extensive breeding program with chickens from all over the world meant to create a new species; and the fertility project The Walking Egg, a non-profit foundation where art meets science, and considered to be the “think tank” behind the CCP. Today, he is one of the most renowned Belgian artists and, in 2012, he founded the Open University of Diversity Factory (OpUnDi) in an old gelatine factory in Limburg, devoted to research and scientific-artistic experiments. Recently, he exhibited in Glasstress (2009, 2011), Venice; at MAD Museum (2012) and SCOOP (2012), both in New York; the Connersmith, Washington; the Belgian Embassy (2013), The Hague; the Church of St. Pancras (2014), London; Rurart Art Centre (2014), Rouillé; Cosmopolitan Gallery (2014), Genk; and in Glassfever (2016), Dordrecht. He won the Gustav-Heinemann-Friedenspreis (1996) and received the Golden Nica Hybrid Art for the CCP (2014).

Black Medusa, 2015

Glass, bronze

Ø 50 x 88 cm

Glasstress 2015, Glasstress Boca Raton

Koen Vanmechelen - Black Medusa
Koen Vanmechelen - Black Medusa
Protected Paradise – C.C.P., 2015

Stainless steel, taxidermic falcon, glass, LED lighting

274 x 102 x 50 cm

Glasstress Boca Raton

Koen Vanmechelen - Protected Paradise
Under My Skin – C.C.P., 2013

Chicken skin and feathers (Mechelse – CCP15), glass, metallic print on glass, stainless steel, gold leaves

Variable dimensions

Glasstress 2013

Koen Vanmechelen - Under my Skin CCP
Koen Vanmechelen - Under my Skin CCP
The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (C.C.P.), 2011

Mixed media

Variable dimensions

Glasstress 2011

Koen Vanmechelen - The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project
Koen Vanmechelen - The Cosmopolitan Chicken Project
The Walking Egg, 1989

Glass, steel

70 x 156 x 58 cm

Glasstress 2011, Glasstress Stockholm

Koen Vanmechelen - The Walking Egg
Egg Cord, 2009

Glass

Variable dimensions

Glasstress 2011, Glasstress Beirut

Koen Vanmechelen - Egg Cord
Koen Vanmechelen - Egg Cord
Koen Vanmechelen - Egg Cord
I 1, 2011

Glass

Variable dimensions

Glasstress Beirut

Koen Vanmechelen - l 1
Koen Vanmechelen - l 1 (side)
Koen Vanmechelen - l 1 (down)
Koen Vanmechelen - l 1
Entwined, 2011

Glass

20 x 30 x 25 cm

Glasstress New York

Koen Vanmechelen - Entwined
Koen Vanmechelen - Entwined
Videos