Daniel Janssens's pastels manage to capture the "self-eroticism" of women, apparently overwhelmed by their own poses and gestures (...). His pastels manage to capture women's "availability", in a tonal atmosphere that reinforces its effect. (L. De M., Ars Libris, 1997)
Daniel Janssens knows how to observe his models' beautiful bodies, draws them "literary" first, without any concessions to the reality of the pose. Then he makes his superb drawings iridescent, for he is a colorist in the impressionistic meaning of the word (...). The bodies are often cut by the frame for the sake of construction, and are painted in dazzling colours; the viewer's eyes are irresistibly led from the foreground to the woman's electric, sublime, voluptuous face (...). (L.R.)
In Daniel Janssens' sculptures and paintings are contained all the mystique and secrets of women. The artist approaches his models with a very personal mixture of voyeurism and shyness. (...) The women he sculpts are reduced to their essence, in the busts made of metal wire or in the more primitive figures, to parts of their faces, in the numerous heads, or to a particular movement, in the series of dancers. His women seem to dance through life. His sculptures seem to have immobilized movement. (...) His series of Lady Godiva's, galoping through the streets of Coventry, naked on their horse or whatever animal carries them, are particularly interesting: "All averted their eyes, only Peeping Tom watched." The artist is Peeping Tom. (...) Other secrets are revealed in Daniel Janssens's paintings, in which figures and shapes interact with each other. Even objects come into play to give the secrets they reveal a new dimension, causing the beholder to ask questions and find answers. (...)(P.R., Grenz-Echo, 2003)
A vital tension (by Jacques Henrard, critic)
First comes the female body, but mostly in relation with her male partner, or with a horse or
some kind of mount that makes the woman character into a rider, this is what the present exhibition of the sculptor Daniel Janssens shows us. But we also discover, on other occasions, in this surprisingly multi-talented artist, radically different works, and even pictorial sets of colourfully enameled pieces. In fact Daniel Janssens graduated from the Academy of Liege in drawing and painting before approaching sculpture as an autodidact.
The common point between all his sculptures is a kind of tension, which at times breaks out into movement, but which is generally released in an upward lengthening, in Giacomettis style (who is his principal reference in sculpture). Even when this tension is concentrated in a kind of hieratic immobility, it manifests itself in extreme stylization, as if the line were tightened to the point of removing every detail. The terra cotta sculptures take in turn the patina of lava stone, concrete or metal. Wood is also used as a base or support. When there are several characters, which is generally the case, they are mobile and can thus swap their position in the sculpture. "I like my sculpture to be interactive, says the artist, I want the people who come to see my exhibitions to become the actors in my sculpted stories" (May 2007).
Bibliography: 1. Artistes et Galleries, Art in Belgium, 1997, pp.440-441[Artists and Galleries in Belgium] 2. BBK, De Belgische Beeldende Kunstenaars uit de 19de en 20ste eeuw, Paul Piron, Art in Belgium, eerste deel, p.739 - [Belgian Artists from the 19th and 20th century, first volume]...