Accessible Artists

 « When I first started we had people who criticised the concept saying how do you make art accessible? My answer was and remains that you make the artist accessible first of all - everything else follows suit...»

After 6 successive years of fairs, do you find art to be more or less accessible than when you began? 

After 6 years of making artists and art accessible to people, I certainly hope that it is more accessible!  My primary motivation to start such a fair, providing a platform to artists and not galleries, was to give people who feel uneasy about going to galleries the feeling that they can come, view works of over 60 artists, have a chat with the creators, find out about their inspiration, and purchase works of art - all in one afternoon.

What values continue to define the fair? 

Our primary value is to work with up and coming artists. The artist is central to the business and over the years we have seen that we have been central in launching some artists’ artistic career, which we feel quite proud of!

Following your recent TEDx talk in Antwerp, how do you value the importance of communicating art - in particular its accessibility?

I was very happy and honoured to speak during the last Ted X talk in Antwerp. I spoke in particular about disruptive innovation and how the Accessible Art Fair has challenged the art world in its way, simply by doing things differently. When I first started we had people who criticised the concept saying how do you make art accessible? My answer was and remains that you make the artist accessible first of all - everything else follows suit.

BIGBOOK strongly suggests already saving the date to catch the Accessible Art Fair this autumn - 15th to 18th October at Cercle de Lorraine on Place Poelaert.  The fair will be preceded by a BMW Art & Design Session on the 14th, and opened by a VIP & Press Night. Keep your eyes peeled for a comprehensive guide of the event in our September issue.

Exhibiting for the first time in 2009, the Accessible Art Fair annually exhibits a host of emerging talents in central Brussels, having found a home within the prestigious walls of Cercle de Lorraine. Taking place this October, a mere stone’s throw from Avenue Louise and comfortably close to the myriad of galleries in the Sablon neighbourhood, the fair promises a carefully curated selection of artistic expression with one key focus: accessibility. BIGBOOK caught up with its founding director, Canadian born and Brussels-based Stephanie Manasseh, on the roof of The Hotel for a quick chat about her view of art in Brussels and the importance of access to it.

Kim De Molenaer 
Photographer – Belgium

Author of the AAF’s photo campaign, Kim De Molenaer represents one of the young Belgian talents on the photography scene. His imagery explores the endless theme of “humanity”, capturing both its capriciousness and serenity. Looking at his pictures touches your senses in a peaceful and comforting way, although a held-back lusciousness can often be felt under the surface. Besides recognition in national and international press, his solo exposition in the Port Palace Hotel Monaco (November 2012 through April 2013) demonstrated the vibrancy and appreciation of his work, both in Belgium and Internationally. The promise of his work shows no slowing. His intuitive understanding of the medium and its technology combined with an unrestricted, imaginative mind and relentless devotion to the art reveals an original insight to the human experience

Christian De Wulf
Painter – Belgium

Christian De Wulf was born in 1973. A graphic designer and trained psychotherapist, lives and works in Belgium.  Both his practice and studio are located in the same building. He sees this cross-fertilization as an essential aspect of his work.  It is within these boundaries that intimacy can occur and our soul can be touched. Acrylic paint and canvas are the medium being handled; color and shape arise from a small, barely visible image. The different techniques are combined to reinforce and add what is missing. To give shape to that which first seemed shapeless sometimes hard and dark, sometimes light and dream-like; taut and plain, sometimes lyrical and plastic. The edge, where light and shadow meet, tension originates.

Jun Gobron
Interior & Product Designer

Jun Gobron is a Belgian-Japanese Interior & Product Designer, born in Namibia. He spent his childhood in Belgium but received a mixed education in French and Japanese. After graduating in Economics from Brussels’s University, he led a career in business. Then, he decided to pursue his passion for design and took up studies in Interior Architecture at St-Luc Brussels. He now works as an Interior Designer at an internationally renowned architecture agency. In parallel, he creates products of his own. His designs are meant to be simple and functional. Constantly searching for the perfect proportion and detail, he offers subtle objects that could fit into any living environment.

Painter – Belgium

Beddru is an Italian self-taught figurative painter who practices the virtue of imagination by creating contemporary artwork reflecting both beauty and content of social impact. He paints by applying a palette of vibrant colors on thick plexiglas panels to broaden our perception of the world around us. His paintings represent his visions and beliefs, a way to showcase humankind in a large scale of portrayals.  His brushes break social conventions and clear out useless sophistication, leading our attention to the essence: humankind in its whole.Change, simplicity, freedom of thinking and a carpe diem approach are recurrent elements of his enlightening Art.

Beddru currently lives and paints in his studio in Brussels, exhibiting internationally on a regular basis in venues spanning from well-reputed art-fairs to museums, in both solo and collective exhibitions. His artwork is part of international private contemporary art collections.

Jeroen Gordijn
Neonist – Netherlands


Jeroen Gordijn was born in the Netherlands on the 29th of November 1968. Already at a young age he was interested in archeology, history and architecture. As an avid collector he amassed a fine collection of medieval and archeological objects, to fill his curiosity cabinets; objects he chooses have to carry a sign of life, a token of their function. They have to show their merit in their wear and tear.

In 1999 he decided to try a different approach. He reacted on a Job Application for neon glass bender and started as an apprentice to learn bending neon glass, a specialization that is very close to guilds of old with the addition of a keen and exact science of chemistry. Jeroen worked also as a highly specialized restorer for renowned neon artists, like Navid Nuur . He perfected his art to a symbiosis of high tech knowledge with a classic foundation and from now calls himself a master, a neoniste.

Christian Hagen
Photographer - Norway

Born three decades ago on a hilltop in Hong Kong, Christian has recently settled in the capital to explore the print perspective of photography, currently serving as the Artistic Director of BIGBOOK Brussels - a world apart from his background in architecture and interior design. Having both studied and practiced in London, his photographic expression is rooted in urban exploration, with interaction of people and places in its focus, layering impact by playing with scale and subtle visual cues. His goal remains to communicate an initial intrigue, inviting further exploration of the subject matter - inspired first and foremost by a genuine fascination for the inner workings of the human mind.