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Galle Marc
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Marc Galle


Know then thyself, presume not God to scan, the proper study of mankind is Man, wrote Alexander Pope in his An Essay on Man.

Marc Galle does both: in his painting he investigates man and the human condition, but that search very often leads him to the question of God, the question to what extent a divine hand can be found in the chaos of human existence, or – if you will – an all-encompassing guiding natural law. Man in relation to his environment and to the sublime deception that church and state have imposed upon him for an entire history. And that history of human action does not always look pretty.

The artist figuratively peppers out extreme human acts such as war, racial hatred and homicide.


Marc Galle continues to swear by figuration in his prints, based on his vision that the artist should in the first place be able to convey a social and world view, that is to say, a message of his own (meaning). In doing so, he falls back on the function that art had during the many centuries before the advent of the camera eye: to register the spirit of the age, to comment on it and thereby to emotionalize the public. What makes someone want to be an artist? According to Marc Galle, it has to do with an irresistible inner urge to express himself in front of others in the most authentic way possible. He sees the artist as an exhibitionist, constantly on the hunt and horny for affirmation from an environment, against which he often simultaneously rejects himself. One of so many paradoxes in contemporary art.

Figuration does not mean that this painter does not also engage in experimentation. In his modest way, for example, he explores different carriers for his messages. Gradually he evolved from the traditional canvas to less obvious substrates, such as packaging cardboard and plywood birch wood or, recently, second-hand dibond advertising panels with scratches and holes in them. The imperfect nature of these supports corresponds strongly to the artist’s view of man: man as a strong but often weak being, beautiful but often battered, peaceful but sometimes frighteningly bloodthirsty.
In everyone lurks the beast, restrained by a layer of culture. But in the background, the beast is never far away and ready to break out. It is up to the artist to help reinforce the cage, if only by making man aware of the subcutaneous presence of the beast, which in extreme circumstances breaks the chains around the cage with ease. With this in mind, the artist Marc Galle creates distance between his recording eye and the objects of his registration.

Besides the search for an organizing universal principle and the struggle against the profoundly human beast, an undertone of irony and relativism also dominates Marc Galle’s tableaux. The spirit of Milan Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being haunts his oeuvre. It is as if the artist is frightened by his own message of doom and therefore almost condescendingly wants to show the small side of man as well, in his weekday, innocent awkwardness. Fathers are looking into a catalog of 3 Suisses, an Earth Explorer has a plumb line probing the depths of the world, macho soldiers are on a walk with a lapdog, nuns are not wearing a sign of the cross but hashtags around their necks, the condemned man on death row is wearing a crown on the electric chair. For Marc Galle, titles matter. He considers untitled work a mockery of the creative dignity of the visual artist.

If the artist is the exhibitionist, then the viewer is the voyeur, who for all sorts of reasons tries to peek inside the artist’s mind. He does so because of the purely aesthetic satisfaction that man experiences in the presence of beauty, or he does so to confront his thinking with that of the other, or still, as an investor-collector in search of economic gain. No matter: the exhibitionist and the voyeur, it’s all about a perfect marriage.

Marc Galle still works almost exclusively with acrylic paint. For a long time, in academic eyes, this was an inferior product to oil paint. But acrylic has the advantage for him that it dries very quickly. This allows him to build up his tableaux layer upon layer almost continuously. He paints like he builds up ceramic sculptures: layer upon layer upon layer. Thereby he considers gesso, acrylic, acrylic varnish and mediums as matter, in which he can carve and on which he can sand. He replaces the rich look of oil paint with final varnish. Marc works in a hurry: he still has hundreds of images in his head and every day new ones arrive and he still has to externalize them all. Fortunately, there is the computer, which allows the artist to capture and preserve the countless images that touch him, but also allows him to combine and edit images. The contemporary artist can use what modern technology offers at will. Gone forever are the days of the living model and the painter who takes the measure with the brush in his outstretched hand and transfers it to canvas.

Licentiaat in de Germaanse Filologie – Universiteit, Gent
Stedelijke kunstacademie, Zottegem
Sint-Lucas School of Arts, Gent

Biënnale KWA-Art – Kwaremont-Kluisbergen
Affordable Art Fair – Brussel
Misfigure – Poortersloge, Brugge
Pop-up – Manchester (UK)
My Way solo-exhibition – Zottegem
Art Objects Gallery, Meulebeke
Paper Art Biënnale – Haacht

Night of the musea and galleries – Oostende
Iceberg, Damme
BAD-beurs – Gent
Biennale of contemporary art – Poeke
Monnikenhoeve, Vilvoorde
Hallelujah! – Bree
The gods must be crazy – Zottegem
Mirrors don’t lie – Oostende
Long as I can see the light – Zottegem
What lies beneath – Oostende
Rerum Novarum – Lier
Gallery Papillon, Oostende
Art Route – Kortemark

Bozar, Brussels
Night of the musea and galleries – Oostende
Steengoed – Balegem-Oosterzele (geanulleerd)
Europe Art Fair – Eindhoven (NL)
CAST 2020 Art route – Zottegem
Underground – Gent
Salon des artistes – Brugge
Imago traveling expo – Oostende-Blankenbergh-Roeselare
Naturae inspiratus – Botanical Gardens, Meise

BAD-beurs, Gent
KBC-event, Zottegem
Biennale of contemporary art – Poeke Castle, Poeke
O tempora, o muse – Article 27, Heusden-Zolder
Queen Annes Court, Macclesfield (UK)
Art Café, Macclesfield (UK)
Exile – Biekorf, Brugge
EXPoZEE – De Haan
M-Factory, Zottegem
Kunst in Zwalm – Zwalm
Away of the World – Oudeberg Castle, Geraardsbergen
Sweet seventy – Oostende

Night of the musea and galleries – CAS, Oostende
Getij-Dingen04 – Koksijde
Shades of Light – CAS, Oostende
Sheltered Worlds – CAS, Zottegem
Coup/e/e – North Station, Brussel
Bel epoque expo – Oostende
Three castles art route – Zottegem
ID#03 – Pastorie Ressegem, Herzele
Oosterzele Art Route – Bunker, Gijzenzele
Piet Staut Art Contest – Castle Cortewal, Beveren
Drawing Days – Oostende
Painter of the Month solo – Art Café, Macclesfield (UK)
Macclesfield Library, Macclesfield (UK)

Night of the musea and galleries – ‘t Grijze Huis, Oostende
Vermeylen laureats – VC De Fakkel, Bredene
Art House deCafe, Zottegem
Gallery Sabine Van Paemel, Leke-Diksmuide
Getij-Dingen04 pre-expo – Koksijde
PC Saint Francis, Zottegem
VC Mozaïek, Kortrijk
M-Factory #03 – Zottegem
See@Sea VI – Grey Mansion, Oostende
Art Route – Oosterzele
Kunst in Zwalm – Zwalm
VC Geuzetorre, Oostende
Art Festival Tarmax – Meerhout
Castle Cortewal, Beveren
Neighbours visiting Artists – Oostende
Biennale of contemporary art – Poeke Castle, Aalter

Expo Clair-Obscur – Grey Mansion, Oostende
Boarebreker project – Oostende
expo ID#2 – CC The Factory, Sint-Lievens-Houtem
Art House deCafe, Zottegem
2e Biënnale Kunst aan Zee – Venetiaanse Gaanderijen, Oostende
See@SeaIV – Oostende
Roderickroute – Oudenburg
Endless Flow, endless Time – De Kantfabriek, Ninove
M-Factory II – Zottegem

Nacht van de musea en galerijen – Oostende
Splinters – Leffinge
Profumo di Mare – Venetiaanse Gaanderijen, Oostende
See@SeaII – Oostende
17e biënnale Hedendaagse Kunst – Poeke Castle, Poeke
Profiles – Kasteel Daelenbroeck, Herkenbosch (NL)

WAK Wereldoorlog I – kiosk Wapenplein, Oostende
Kunstroute Kortemark – Hof ter Loo
Studio Valdet, Honfleur (FR)
Eerste Biënnale Beeldende Kunst aan Zee – Thermae Palace, Oostende
Mine-Art – Genk
BJCreate, Bredene
Kunstkamer bibliotheek, Zottegem