Pierre Mertens – a contextual artist in confrontation

Bureau Doove is extremely happy to welcome Belgian artist Pierre Mertens as one of its affiliated artists.

Pierre Mertens is a contextual artist who combines art and activism in his activities as an artist, psychotherapist and development partner, a combination which relates strongly to Bureau Doove’s attention to care.

Strongly affected by the short life of his daughter Liesje (1978-1989), who suffered from hydrocephalus and spina bifida, Mertens has developed an extraordinary oeuvre since the late eighties in which he’s obsessed by the tension between the masses and the individual. His work is both aesthetically and ethically confrontational and often revolves around social art projects about the homeless, the elderly, asylum seekers, unemployed migrants, social exclusion, AIDS and so on. With several health campaigns and art projects in Africa and South-America, Mertens mainly works in situ. His most recent project is a memorial in Tanzania for deceased children with disabilities who died on the way to lifesaving treatment and where the bodies were not released because the parents were unable to pay the hospital bills (2019).

Memorial Tanzania

We are currently working on an update of his website [link] and several projects, amongst which the 10th anniversary of the Bolero project [link] of which he was one of the initiators in 2010 and his series of paintings of children with hydrocephalus.

Please find his dedicated page here and look out for regular updates in the news section.

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