Gallery owner Jens Versprille has been offering space to young artists to show their works in his gallery for several years. He happily makes an exception for Delapierre. “He is no longer as young as the other artists I exhibited, but he has been working quietly on new works for a long time. He is now coming out with that,” says Versprille.
The name of the exhibition ‘Could he still be dead?’ refers to the period in which the painter worked in silence. “Did he rise from the dead? As a painter you often only become known when you are dead. That is a nod to classical painting.”
Delapierre unfortunately had to deal with death at the end of his studies at KASK. His teacher, promoter and best friend Marc Maet took his life on the day of his jury. “He was my teacher in the first year and he continued to follow me and give me advice. That’s how he became a friend. After his death I didn’t want to paint anymore,” says Delapierre.
Because he had just graduated, he started working in the Pink Flamingo’s café. Kamagurka lived above that. “In the morning I cleaned the closed café, and Kamagurka would come and read the newspaper with a coffee. That’s how we started talking every day.” (read more below the photos)
When Kamagurka asked one day if he happened to know anyone who could stretch canvases on canvas, Delapierre said that he had studied art and could do it himself. So the ball started rolling and he visited Kamagurka’s studio. “He ended up hiring me. I was his only employee. Since corona, our collaboration has come to a permanent standstill and I thought it was time to make my own work again, instead of being an assistant.”
The painter does not have a studio. He enjoys painting in the living room at home, where his children have to pass by and give their honest opinions in passing. “I work in a very homely manner. My house is actually a small museum of myself.”
Delapierre also likes to come up with absurd titles for his paintings, such as ‘I shower on the train every day’. Just as his titles raise questions, he wants to achieve the same with his paintings. Combined with each other, you start to ask even more questions. “The spectator can create his own story. If I have to explain it, I didn’t portray it very well as a painter. I want them to start wondering things.”
His paintings are mainly figurative and are about his life. They are never realistic. “I have started to move away from portraits more and more. I now prefer to portray people who don’t exist.” Just like in his dreams, Delapierre jumps from one topic to another in his paintings. The exhibition is like a surreal dream into which it takes you.
INFO: Opening Saturday, November 11 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibition runs from November 11 to December 17. The gallery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. or by appointment. www.rufus.gallery