click Link to an article by Willem Elias

Foreword in the book is written by Willem Elias and the main text by me. Marc Maet (1955-2000) was an interesting Belgian artist. He had an extraordinary knowledge of art, poetry and literature and is strong rooted in the tradition of Belgian Art.



From the early 1990s, Maet’s work reflects on art and its calling, as well as on the politics of the art world. Its reflective and linguistic aspects may suggest an affinity with Conceptual Art, but for him, the image, the medium of painting and the attendant materiality remain foremost.

Maet believes that the act of looking is essential for the visual arts. “Painting begins with looking”, as he said. Maet is fascinated by the first line of Paul Valéry’s poem La Jeune Parque: “I saw myself seeing myself”. Maet uses this line autonomously and ascribes different meanings to it. For him, it refers metaphorically to the interaction between the artist, his painting and the beholder, or who is looking at whom. The artist looks at his painting, which looks back at him, the beholder looks at the painting and it looks back – ultimately, the artist exits the painting and sees himself looking at it. This notion of looking back-and-forth is central to the series of paintings entitled Crystal.