Second chapter of a collaborative project between the hotel and artists based in the capital, the year-long exhibition of some 30 works by Blaise Patrix aims to give a resolutely multicultural dimension to the various spaces of the hotel while inviting the 75 employees of the Hilton Brussels Grand Place, as well as Belgian and foreign guests, to initiate a discussion around this hybrid and heterogeneous artistic work.
For the past 20 years, in addition to his personal artistic work, which has led to exhibitions in France, the United States and Senegal, the French-born artist Blaise Patrix has developed numerous “social art” projects in collaboration with the local population, as well as with vulnerable individuals and communities to whom he has given a voice through art. A great traveller, in love with Africa where he lived and worked for 20 years, the artist likes to invite himself where he is not expected. For him, creation is an engine of exchange. For this exhibition, which will cover the walls of the hotel for an entire year, the artist has chosen, in collaboration with Ellen Deboeck, its director, some thirty paintings of different styles and periods: a sort of retrospective of a hybrid and generous work that began in the 1990s.
“Throughout my career, I have explored the richness of the material. My figurative works flirt with others that are partially or very abstract, as well as with more frescoes that are symbolic. Art is like life: the possibilities are endless.” – Blaise Patrix
From the Symbiosis series, which mixes country landscapes and marine scenes in a poetic approach (to be seen in the restaurant room) to the portraits of the Reconnaissance series, through the landscapes of the Relations series that will guide the customers to the breakfast room or even Paroles d’Océan, to be seen in the privatizable part of the restaurant, all the works of this artist, trained in classical painting, celebrate life and the “living together”. QR codes placed next to each painting will allow visitors to discover the artist’s world and the history of the paintings that adorn the walls of the hotel.
“What interests me is to cultivate and value public and collective recognition; a recognition that fosters sensitivity, emotion, intuition and creativity. As the philosopher Édouard Glissant rightly said: ‘to be is to change by exchanging with the other while remaining oneself.” – Blaise Patrix
If, during his career, Blaise Patrix has created monumental frescoes in a participatory approach to creation, this collaboration with the Hilton Brussels Grand Place has allowed him to extend this approach by meeting the hotel’s employees and initiating a rich and inspiring dialogue with them. In particular, the artist created a portrait of Vincent Masson, the chef of Sentro, restaurant of the hotel. The restaurant menu will feature a portrait of the chef, the result of this face-to-face encounter, as well as a presentation of the works on display. As for the dishes created by the chef, they are freely inspired by this encounter. For Ellen Deboeck, this large-scale exhibition project, initiated just before the pandemic, sounds like an obvious choice. In the wake of a first exhibition of works by Véronique Van der Wielen, it is this artist – with whom she shares a passion for travel – which the director of the Hilton Brussels Grand Place has chosen to invite throughout this year.
“Our desire is not to use art as a marketing tool, but to convey an authentic message. Each department is directly associated with the exhibition: the kitchen through our chef, but also the Front Office or our employees in charge of seminars. Since we have been organizing exhibitions in the hotel, we have noticed a real interest in this project, especially in the photos posted on social networks and the questions that guests ask our teams.” – Ellen Deboeck
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