‘Good art is like a hit on the back of the head’ – Walter Van Beirendonck Dreams the World Awake

I’m not sure whether Walter Van Beirendonck actually said that ‘Good art is like a hit on the back of the head’, but that’s how his work makes you feel – in a good way.

The body of Van Beirendonck’s work on display in Melbourne, drawn from over three decades of pure creativity, is vibrant, invigorating, confronting, provoking, exquisite, exuberant.

Entering the exhibition, the artist presents the first challenge of the ‘Dream World’ as a montage of fairytale and imagination set against realities of violence, saccharine marketing, uncertainty and environmental degradation.

Van Beirendonck’s work, produced largely from his base in Antwerp, mixes impeccable design detail and confronting ‘wake up’ messages which challenge our often soporific view of the world.

And yet (as the artist attests) many of his works are completely wearable.

Every piece is a beautifully crafted and fashioned statement, designed not for stick thin models, but for the Frida Kahlos or the Andy Warhols who would be unafraid to wear garments which also have something to say.

How perfect for this to be the first exhibition within the cool concrete interiors of the new RMIT Design Hub.

I was happy just to be able to step inside – after admiring the building from the outside for so long and to see this great space being filled with colour vertically,  as well as wrapped around the interior stairwell.

Plenty of time to see this wonderful exhibition and please – if you love art – do go and see this.

(Any exhibition with Bowie’s ‘Life on Mars’ clip on loop has to be worth seeing.)

For more read Dewl Cooke’s article http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/risks-paid-off-for-belgian-design-legend-20130716-2q28u.html

There’s more on the RMIT Design Hub in  an earlier post >>

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