In his work and life Stief Desmet (1973, BE) is preoccupied by the ambiguous relationship between nature and culture and the manipulation of nature by human hands. The artist seems to be constantly caught between his actual existence in a hectic, consumption-based modern day society and a longing for a sublime, utopian natural state. At the same time he is critical and in a subtle way he recognises the relativity of this longing for an idyllic fantasia with a serious dose of irony. By cutting up iconic images (or literally cutting his bronze and polyester sculptures and paintings in pieces) he counters possible significations, adds a stratum of significance or deludes the spectator.
His studio practice isn’t focused on one medium, instead he switches easily between painting and sculpting,video or performance.
Desmet’s work is found in private collections in Belgium, The Netherlands, France, U.S.A., Switserland and in public spaces in Belgium and The Netherlands.