Dries Ketels (1992, Ghent, Belgium)

1ste Prize ‘TUUËBETEGOARE’, visual art competition 2015
1ste Prize from the ‘Epilepsie Liga’, visual art competition 2015
1st prize poetry competition Harelbeke 2015


Chie art Gallery (Milan, Italy)) Oktober 2014
Marzia Frozen Gallery (Berlin, Germany) September 2014
Juried exhibition ‘ARNOEVOO’ (Bredene, Belgium) 2015
Juried Exhibition ‘painting of the year 2015’ (CODA Museum, Apeldoorn, Netherlands, march - April 2016)


‘international contemporary artists 2015’ (book)
Online publication in Beautiful Decay 2015
Art04 2016 (magazine)
Online featuring in StudioVox (2016)

University of Ghent and Free University of Berlin 2011-2015

Science of art, Major: theaterstudies, Minor: science

Dries Ketels


I am Barbie...

30.01.2017 to 24.02.2017

Dries Ketels (Belgium) will be exploring and carrying out an almost scientifically and semantic research on materials to develop the project "I am Barbie, you are Barbie, we are Barbie" during the 4 week residency. His work has always a very important step of studying matters and its different reactions to the variation of conditions as temperature, surfaces and interactions with other materials. He stands from the point of the creator that gives life by combining elements and allows the beings to develop in their own way, letting go precise control over the visual outcome. 


The artist is using his time in this residency to investigate and perform artistic research for his upcoming body of work "I am Barbie, you are Barbie, we are Barbie". A research process that consists of deconstructing concepts around women rights in an almost materialistic approach. In this semantic dance he tries to understand the difficulties and problems concerning women rights. As a result he dives into our collective semantic memory in order to reveal some underlying patterns, misconceptions or problems in order to provide a forum where change can manifest itself. Not trying to manipulate or push towards change but rather letting change manipulate itself.

A tendency to "let it be, become what it can become" which is not only the method of his activism, where the activism has to create and obtain itself without the interference of the artworks, but it's also the method of his painting process where he gives the painting the possibility to create itself rather than trying to manipulate in order to look like something or in a specific way. 

In this approach, he gradually investigates every aspect of the matter that he is using, from the colours to the chemicals, to the paper. Putting the symbolisation, the conceptualisation and the philosophical in the materialistic part of the painting and thereby maintaining complete freedom in the visual aspect of the painting. A complete freedom that then can be used to show the beauty that women inherently posses. 

This proposal implies a semantic study of colture (colour and culture) taking for example purple (referred to as the favourite colour of Cleopatra) as symbol for women leadership; blue (forbidden colour to be worn by women in some arabic countries) as symbol for women freedom; green (regeneration and rebirth in ancient Egypt) becomes the symbol of women in general.

He opens up in the search of including other solutions and colours in his work that may arouse a reflection on women condition.