The bearded mussel
Mussel embedded in stone
9 × 3 × 3 cm
Unique work in a series of 15 variations, signed by the artist on certificate
about this work
The title – a bundle of filaments secreted by mussels that function to attach the mollusk to a solid surface, commonly known as the “beard” – is a metaphor for the invisible yet strong function art has in society. These byssus threads are incredibly strong and flexible and able to withstand the enormous pull of the sea. One half of the mussel shell – an exoskeleton that protects the mollusk – is imbedded in a stone as if it were always part of it. The stone is reinforcing the mussel shell but at the same time it showing its vulnerable inside. A hole was drilled in each one, allowing it to be attached to any given surface – like the mussel’s beard would. The mussel ‘moule’ in French, has a double meaning: both mould/cast and mollusk. The shell is the cast of the mussel and the colour gradient between the mantle line and the shell’s edge on the inside mirror the sea and the sky.
The artist’s parents used to own a well-known mussel restaurant called ‘The Cosmos’ in Middelkerke, at the Belgian seaside.
about Bram de Jonghe
Bram de Jonghe has come to believe that imagination should not have a fixed point; it can gravitate around certain areas of strong interests, around certain compelling territories. In this way each project is conceived from the inside out. It is the content that creates the form and not the other way around.
De Jonghe believes in man as creator, solver, and finder. The gestures he likes to make as an artist are not merely aesthetic or originated from a critical attitude towards art history. He favours the visual residue of do-it-yourself spirituality. He embraces complex ideas that lend themselves to clumsy visualisations, which humanise their coded beauty. De Jonghe is a practical dreamer who wants to stimulate the intuitive wisdom of each and every individual.
Bram de Jonghe shows his work internationally, including exhibitions at Netwerk Aalst; P/////akt Amsterdam; Stroom The Hague; DMW, Antwerp; 1646, The Hague; Coup De Ville, Sint-Niklaas; and Stedelijk Museum Schiedam.
You can discover more of Bram de Jonghe’s work on his onw website.more...