Carmen Van Puyenbroeck

Carmen Van Puyenbroeck

I am a mixed media collage artist, using mostly paper from magazines, old books, booklets from art institutions, own photographs... as a basis. I work analog which means using scissors to cut or just tear paper, next to glue, acryl, watercolor, inkt... to finish or to manipulate collages. Then I often digitally scan my work to see the effect of reproduction. 

My work is surrealistic and by moments abstract. I dive into layers of reality to reveal unknown and invisible realms. Much like shamans, witches, druids... use(d) their imagination to connect to spirit world, to nature... to receive wisdom to help their tribe, their land. That way I discover hidden correlations and make out of the box connections. I often use a certain pattern (such as a movement, a form...) as a base around which the story unfolds. 

I am also a cultural anthropologist and a shamanic practitioner, both roles understand the impact of stories on humans, stories are what make us the dominant species on Earth. A position which we abuse in my opinion. 

I use all kinds of “stories” (historic, popular, so called "high" culture...) and look what is underneath it: what could be a symbolic meaning? Is there a gender aspect? What about cultural bias? How did the "old way" deal with that specific story?

This method is visible in my work ‘MoveMe(nt)’, a research of moveme(nt) in contemporary society. 

Visual stories” are the symbols of contemporary society and culture, we are all connected through time and space, unraveling these threads is at the core of my art practice. 

Artists who inspire range far and wide: Frida Kahlo, Barbara Kruger, James Cavanagh, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Dali, Picasso, .... 

Born In Germany, raised in Belgium, living some years in New York in the ’90s.