Pieter Bauters (° 1975, Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium) lives and works in Ghent. From 1997 to 2003 Bauters studies Fine Arts at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent. In 2001 he obtains a Master’s Degree in Free Graphics. In addition he obtains in 2003 the qualification Master in Mixed Media.
The artworks of Pieter Bauters reflect on a society that is obsessed with novelty and is fixated on speed. News apps inform us in real time about hot news of which content and quality are sometimes of secondary importance. Instagram and Pinterest overload us with images that we view in a hurry. The quality of our lives is largely determined by the speed of the fibre optic cable. As a result, we expect ordered packages and take away to be delivered to our front door faster and faster. This might suggest that we are gaining time for other things. But is this really the case and where has the time gained gone?
For Pieter Bauters, making visual work has little to do with possible dissatisfaction with the existing reality. His artistic practice should rather be seen as a kind of research in which part of reality is rewritten in order to better see the whole. Pieter Bauters' work is about dismantling, disassembling, rebuilding and reconstructing.
For Pieter Bauters the physical process is just as important as the mental one. Pieter experiences the world as an inextricable tangle of values, norms and opinions. This both frightening and reassuring thought gives the artist the opinion that insights, ideas, opinions, possibilities and their materialisations may also be deconstructed and reviewed at appropriate times.
‘We can never grasp, totalize or conceptualize reality (in a single image), because we're always in the midst of it, thus making the complete overview impossible. And that's where the opportunities are to be found.’
His way of looking and thinking, results in a series of collages, reliefs, assemblages and installations. His beautiful oeuvre also includes bronze sculptures, murals and hand- tufted carpets. The production of his carpets already started during his academic years. They have been a constant in his oeuvre ever since.
Bauters draws his inspiration from publicity material, architecture, playgrounds, scale models, metro plans, road signs and large building sites. What Pieter wants to show in his works is the anonymity of contemporary society: the loss of place, direction and identity. The non-identity portrayed, the non-place mapped out.
Pieter's choice of materials is not limited to traditional art media. He is always on the lookout for new materials and uses all the interesting things that crisscross his daily life. The artist changes their forms and gives the particles a new existence. The parts are rearranged and rotated until the pieces come together like a puzzle. In the meantime Pieter can make fully use of his ever-growing archive. The sorted collection of pieces of paper, wood and cardboard is waiting to be painted, torn and cut out. At the right time they are processed into a new image.
A striking feature of his work is the constant tension between the figurative and the abstract. For the artist this is a logical consequence of his content-minded orientation.
Pieter Bauters uses a fairly minimalist visual language that balances between visual art and architecture.