Jan Fabre

Year and place of birth: 1958, Antwerp, Belgium Location: Antwerp, Belgium

It was through his uncle that the young Fabre learnt about the work of the French entomologist Jean-Henri Fabre, who became one of his personal heroes. In the late 1970s Fabre gave small-scale performances. He also did insect and blood drawings, made theoretical models and films of his short actions. Marcel Duchamp is one of his sources of inspiration. In about 1975 Fabre started writing plays, first as an extension of performance art, and later focusing on ‘the falsehood of theatre’. In the 1980s he made his international breakthrough with drawings in and objects coloured with blue ballpoint. In the 1990s his insect drawings evolved into sculptures. In 2002 Fabre created the work ‘Heaven of Delight’ on a ceiling in the Royal Palace in Brussels using scarab wing-cases. In between times he also designs iconic sculptures for public spaces.

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