Philip Aguirre y Otegui - Poort and Kolom
About the statue:
In the context of the 2020 relaunch plan for the Lippenslaan/Kustlaan/Dumortierlaan shopping area, artist Philip Aguirre y Otegui is temporarily exhibiting two monumental sculptures on Van Bunnenplein, in partnership with the municipality of Knokke-Heist.
The sculptural oeuvre of Philip Aguirre y Otegui (1961, Antwerp) consists mainly of compositions in polyester enriched with powdered cast iron, or in patinated bronze. Thematically, the artist focuses primarily on human beings in relation to their fellow humans, the world and nature.
Poort (Gateway) (2019) is based on a sketch of a man and a woman holding each other by the shoulders in such a way that they support each other and form a gateway. Positioned on the Zeedijk side of Van Bunnenplein, this strongly symbolic gesture represents the passage from the city centre to the Zeedijk or vice versa.
Kolom (Column)(2017) focuses more on the vocabulary of forms. The work is an enlargement (x10) of a small model. The artist placed a hand-crafted drill bit on the base of a broken champagne glass. Viewed from Kustlaan and Lippenslaan, this dynamic sculpture enters into a dialogue of forms with the boxy character of the surrounding architecture.
In 2020, he was commissioned by the municipality of Knokke-Heist to create a permanent monumental sculpture in brick for De Pluim municipal primary school at Kragendijk 182, Knokke-Heist. You can find more information here.
This sculpture can be visited from 10 am to 5 pm every day.
About the Artist:
Philip Aguirre y Otegui, born in Schoten in 1961, comes from a family that fled from the Basque Country to Belgium in 1936. He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the National Higher Institute, both in Antwerp. Aguirre, who is best known as a sculptor, lives and works in Borgerhout.
His sculptural oeuvre consists mainly of compositions in patinated bronze. However, his work also features materials such as terracotta, plaster, cement and epoxy, sometimes painted or enhanced by the incorporation of existing shapes and objets trouvés. Aguirre also works with etchings, screen prints, drawings, collages and paintings, again often supplemented with collages of found images. ‘Je ne cherche pas, je trouve’ is the perfect adage for Philip Aguirre's open attitude.
Besides his independent works, Aguirre has created many sculptures for public spaces over a period of more than 30 years, both in Belgium and Africa.
Philip Aguirre y Otegui stands for an artistic attitude that is as natural as possible, indeed almost ‘primitive’, and for an artistry that maintains the most direct human involvement in life at all times.
In addition to his solo exhibitions and numerous group exhibitions, his sculptures have been included in the public collections of Mu.ZEE (Ostend), University of Antwerp, Kadehuis (Ghent), Kaprijke, Waasmunster, Ostend, Dossinkazerne (Mechelen), Ndogpassi (Cameroon), Herentals, Zorgcentrum Turnhout, Buurthuis Opexwijk (Ostend), Sint-Niklaas, Wolfabriek Lot (Brussels) and Saint-Sixtus Abbey (Westvleteren), among others.
In 2017, Philip Aguirre y Otegui won the International Award for Public Art.