° 1983, Leuven (BE)

lives and works in Betekom (BE)

2000-2004 // master’s degree in sculpture, PXL-MAD School of Arts, Hasselt (BE)
2005 // subject-specific teacher training, PXL-MAD School of Arts, Hasselt (BE)
2005-present // sculpture teacher, Hagelandse Academie voor Beeldende Kunst, Aarschot (BE)
2020-2021 // guest teacher in wood sculpture, PXL-MAD School of Arts, Hasselt (BE)

Using traditional sculpture techniques, the Belgian artist Maarten Ceulemans creates a universe of his own centred on the human, the animal and nature. He embraces recognisability and figuration in his oeuvre, though he always manipulates his subjects in some way; by enlarging them, adding new elements, concealing them or depicting them in incomplete form.

The artist draws his inspiration from his surroundings and from photographic material, subjects he comes across by chance or deliberately goes in search of. He records these impressions as sketches on paper or small clay or wax models. With these compositions as a point of departure, he then works intuitively and lets chance take its course.

He works with a range of materials. He uses chainsaws, chisels, planes and sandpaper to transform tree trunks into wooden sculptures, or he portrays his subjects by moulding them in wax, clay or resin.
Maarten Ceulemans plays with the singularity of these materials. His wooden sculptures often display the characteristics of a clay model; they have been manipulated as if they are of a malleable material. Castings in bronze or resin, then again, may have the texture of a wood surface.
The tactility of these materials and the combination of removing and building up materials are crucial to his experience during the creative process. This experience feed his practice as an artist.

The artist contrasts meticulous details or smooth textures with unfinished wood blocks or rough surfaces. As a result of this, his work often appears unfinished. It is a three-dimensional snapshot from a creative process with which he practically compels the viewer to finish the work in his/her/their imagination.