Filip Denis has felt the need to paint, and to nail things together in an exuberant and rebellious manner, since he was a child. His perspective on everyday life has always been open and child-like, his attention focussed on small, innocuous objects; a match, a handle, a Mexican sombrero, a bonsai tree. His arsenal of images has also included the most unusual objects. “I will never forget the small notebook that Filip always kept in his pocket and in which he wrote and sketched,” says Lydia, his widow. “The most trivial details fascinated him. Filip lived for his work, his work was his life.”
For Filip, the world was one big playground . Anything from canvas to corrugated cardboard, rough pieces of wood to small wooden boxes was fair game for a future piece of art. His work illustrates the extent to which art can be both deeply poetic and disarmingly simple; for example his installation of 200 small wooden frames containing photos, drawings, paintings, and collages . While this work is delicate and tender, it is also rambunctious; the frames show pointed sansevierias, black top hats, the muscular torso of a young man, and the curve of a woman’s bare buttocks . Here and there, three-dimensional objects such as cigarette packets and miniature Delhaize bags appear. What a visual treat!
Filip Denis is a virtuoso, expressionist painter whose work moves between the figurative and the abstract. His paintings can be full of life and joy, and often kitsch, but they also include more serious, profound works. One image shows a car entering a dark wood ; further ahead, the viewer can make out a skull. Denis created this picture shortly before he died.
Denis is a sensitive artist, a cartoon character writing his own story. His work is exceptionally suggestive and magical, and that is why it is so poignant. He arouses the desire to discover the narrative underlying the work – but in the end, it remains silent behind a deceptive facade of insensitivity.