In the footsteps of Duchamp, Warhol, and Emin

Whether authenticity is an absolute precondition for art or not is a matter of personal opinion. According to some people, authenticity is a must, as it endows works of art with uniqueness and meaning. Others believe that authenticity is not essential, because the work only needs to be interesting and convey certain emotions. In this matter, nobody is right or wrong; it all depends on the views held by the individuals looking at the object. On 17 March, Ludovic will open his new exhibition named Authenticity at A-SPACE EXPO. We very much look forward to discovering his take on authenticity.

Authenticity is the very core of art. It expresses real emotions, feelings, or experience, without being hemmed in by expectations or social pressure. Authentic art tells us who we really are and where we come from, and it inspires us to share our own stories and experience. In a world racing in a spiral of ever growing complexity, authenticity is a treasure: it makes us feel connected and seen. Authentic art is not only beautiful to behold, but it also touches our very soul and inspires us to continue our search for meaning and understanding.

Een ‘authentieke’ Ludovic Laffineur

Not searching alone

Ludovic Laffineur does not stand alone in his quest for authenticity. From a historical perspective, he walks in the footsteps of famous artists like Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Tracy Emin, and Banksy.  They all search for authenticity in their own way. Warhol and Duchamp turn everyday objects into works of art with an aura of authenticity.  For their part, Banksy and Tracy Emin object to commercializing art. They steadfastly choose the path of uniqueness and meaning in creating their works of art.

Voyeuristic shame

For his previous exhibition at A-SPACE in Antwerp, Ludovic drew inspiration from scores of photographs he had taken when visiting the Mies Van der Rohe pavilion in Barcelona. Once more, space plays a major part in his work. However, this time, a great difference is noticeable. The observer remains, but he is no longer outdoors. For his new series, the artist goes to museums, churches and even into his own bedroom, where his partner is transformed into his personal muse.

Is there a difference with his previous work? Indeed, as his paintings have become more restrained, suggesting that the artist has found a measure of inner peace. His colour range has grown more intimate. With slow brushstrokes, the artist merges his colours into images. Moreover, his works have become smaller, enabling the eye to catch details offered to the observer. The extended hand between the sheets proves to hold a mobile phone. We are looking at a person watching a screen. We feel an incoming sense of voyeuristic shame. The bright colours of the screen are in stark contrast with the soft tones in the rest of the work. The sheets envelop the body, creating a feeling of authenticity or, as I wrote before: they express real emotions, feelings or experience, without being hemmed in by expectations or social pressure.

This uniqueness is also expressed by the campaign image for the exhibition. Again, there is no intense colour range. Through the left window, one still sees a blue sky with Van Gogh clouds, but the incidence of light through the door has almost disappeared. Nevertheless, our attention is drawn by the child in the middle of the painting. Children play a major part in the work of Laffineur, who sees them as ideal examples of a spontaneous authenticity that adults risk to loose gradually. The analogy with the artist could not be clearer: he renounced a fascinating job in the shipping industry to concentrate more on his artistic ambitions.

Muted minimalism

To gain inspiration for some other works, Laffineur, the observer, went to the museum. In a work derived from a photograph he took in the Ensor room of the Museum of Fine Art in Antwerp, almost all colour has faded away. A painting on the left side still has some colour. In the middle, a red cloth covers a table, where a young mother takes care of her infant. A mother with child, a man with a walking stick, several people entering the room and a balding man standing just too far from the work to examine it thoroughly. Such common occurrences will easily escape our attention if we do not take the time to become aware of them. Roland Jooris expresses this perfectly with his poem Minimal: (…) Almost nothing to look at and that’s exactly what I’m watching.”

With his new exhibition named Authenticity, Ludovic Laffineur paints a pictural ode to these poetic words.

The expo ‘Authenticity’ will take place from March 17 to March 26 at A-SPACE EXPO.
More info:
Portfolio – Ludovic Laffineur (Belgische kunstenaar)

The original interview in Dutch can be read on the website of TheArtCouch.


  1. Yves

    Ik krijg deze boodschap : 

    Dit artikel is beveiligd met een wachtwoord.


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