Encounter Dirk Celis’ art in the wild

You are walking down the street. Suddenly you come face to face with a work of art by the well-known Flemish artist Dirk Celis. You can just grab it. You almost feel guilty, but guess what? It is the artist’s intention that you secretly take that work home to cherish.

Do you like the work of Dirk Celis and do you ever come to Antwerp? Then you might be happy with the following insider tip: Dirk regularly places work in Antwerp’s public space for the honest finder. In this post we are going to tell you where to expect a work from Dirk and why he does this. So you have to be a bit lucky, but then you also run into a real Dirk Celis in the wild and that is the intention.

Chain Of Public Galleries

From 2021, Dirk Celis is working on his project “Chain of Public Galleries” in which he places works in selected publicly accessible locations in Antwerp. These are always the same locations but the time may vary. In this way Dirk presents his work to a wider audience while gradually regular visitors arise who have already developed a certain pattern of expectations around that place with regard to Dirk’s work such as various passers-by or. fans told him.

The sites are chosen to be sheltered from the weather and are located near well-known public buildings that are associatively linked to the work. For example, Dirk places works with the subject ‘I Cellisti’ near the entrance to the De Singel arts center in Antwerp, which also houses the music academy. Ideal for this musical subject. The project was given the name of Chain of Public Galleries (Or: CHPG). Dirk is still considering continuing it in other cities.

Dirk Celis himself about his Public Galleries project:

“I often make works for the ‘Chain Of public Galleries’ on white paper department store bags. This indicates that they are on their way to a new destination. The works have been devised especially for this trajectory: quickly, with markers, bic and sometimes acrylic paint.

For me, the public galleries represent a new impetus for communicating through public space, with passers-by who never pass by a known gallery and with a small crowd of followers.

Passers-by take the works for free. In some places they also leave small messages for me in which they show their appreciation.”

In which locations do you run into a real Celis?

Do you also find it an exciting idea to bump into a real Celis, then we have the following suggestions for your own Dirk Celis safari in Antwerp (no guarantee of course, but a chance of success at the least):

Location 1: Internationaal Kunstencentrum de Singel, Desguinlei

Location 2: the Mediaplein, previously: Kievitplein near the Central Station

Location 3: Zurenborgstraat/Mercatorstraat (beneath the railway bridge)