Artist Statement -

"It is the woman’s beauty and mystery that have made me paint and sculpt in the first place." The artist, who previously painted only one human figure per painting, has recently begun to represent several figures, and these figures are no longer exclusively women. In sculpture also, the single human figures of the beginning are gradually replaced by intertwined figures, that go by two, by couple, or even by trio or quartet. "Previously, it was the individual that questioned me. Now, increasingly, I paint and sculpt attitudes and relationships." Painting and sculpture are based on different relationships: that between the sculptor-painter and his painting or sculpture, that between colors and shapes, that between the spectator and the work of art, and finally, the possible relationship between the different spectators. "However, I have not become a narrative artist, even if the spectator can invent stories about the human figures they see depicted."
- But why only one subject? -
Because the more one concentrates on one - and only one - subject, the deeper one can go, and the more style and technique can speak freely. If one always seeks to change subjects, it becomes difficult to specialize in it.” It is the unit of subject more than the unit of style and form that characterizes the artist’s work “In a period where artistic currents are so diverse, where it is difficult to adhere to only one current, my influences are various and perpetually renewed. My travels abroad, numerous visits of galleries in the major artistic capitals of the world, regularly feed my inspiration and my artistic activity."
- The technique -
In the beginning, pastel, which is at the same time painting and drawing, allows the artist to display his talents as draughtsman and colorist. Little by little, however, acrylic takes the upperhand. The paint is applied with the brush, first, then with the knife. "I now always use a surface that I already painted previously, and I repaint over that, applying successive layers of undiluted color, with a knife, by leaving chance make use of the underlying shapes and colors. What matters to me now, is color more than the subject matter." The human being still preoccupies the artist, but this preoccupation no longer focuses on identified individuals, but is expressed in a more diffuse manner. The human form has become no more than a pretext to paint and sculpt.
- Finishing a painting -
The great problem of a painter is to determine the right moment when a painting is finished. A painting is both finished, and at the same time never ended, since one can always prolong the action of painting it. "One means for me to end a painting is to part with it, because otherwise there is always the risk that I will use it, paint over it to make an entirely new painting. It is the solution that I have found to solve this problem, deciding when a painting is ended. Paintings are therefore always in the make. The fact that I am constantly torn between the desire to hide and the need to show is not foreign to this particular technique."
- Nudity and movement in sculpture -
"I have always liked nudity. A woman’s nudity is both touching, humble and disturbing, provocative even. My paintings of today no longer show the photographic nudity of my pastels of a few years ago. I hide it now under different layers of colors. But it is still present in my sculpture. In sculpture, I never use a model. I like to allow my fingers to guide my work. I am extremely fond of movement in human bodies: the ultimate challenge is for me to make something static by definition, “mobile”, even if in my sculptures of overlengthened or deformed human figures, it is the absence of movement that I intend to render."

Artist Exhibitions

Galerie « L’Entrée des Artistes », Liège
Galerie « Trigone », Liège
CIAC (Centre International d’Art Contemporain), Liège
Château de Péralta, Angleur
Foyer Culturel, Chênée
Le Moulin du Ry de Vaux, Olne
11ème Foire Internationale d’Art à Libramont, Libr’art
Galerie « Maxal », Liège
Biennale « Art en Wallonie », Namur
Biennales « L’art se met au vert », Villers-le-Temple
Foyer Culturel, Ancienne gare de Chaudfontaine
12ème Foire Internationale d’Art à Libramont, Libr’art
Lineart, Gand/Ghent
Galerie du Domaine La Ferme, Steinbach
Galerie du Château de la Tour, Esneux
Foire Internationale d’Art à Libramont, Libr’art
Galerie Pont des Arts, Huy
Galerie Maxal, Liège
La Galleria, Welkenraedt/Eupen
Le Coin d'Art, La Roche
Salon International des Arts, Olne
Galerie du Cercle des Beaux-Arts, Verviers
Espace Venta, Liège
Galerie Art'kange, Liège
Castor en Pollux, Bilzen
Galerie Extrapole, Liège

Artist Publications

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 Giacometti’s 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]...

Artist Collections

Several works are part of private collections in Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Germany, Holland....

Artist Favorites