Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has to be one of the most fascinating artists we've featured on EPIC FU. My immediate impression from his drawings and sketches is that he is a superb draftsman. Great drawings are, to me, always the most important indicator of ability because drawing is about the eye, not about technical skill.
Delvoye is best known for the work pictured above, Cloaca, which is a machine that duplicates the digestive process, including excretion (crapping, to put it bluntly). When the machine was installed the museum had a chef cooking two meals a day for it, which it would process all the way to the end result. Each day collectors could purchase a shrink-rapped piece of Cloaca shit for $1,000! Very reminiscent of Piero Manzoni's work, except I think the intention is very different.
Delvoye's website is very cool -- you navigate around a "Springfieldian" landscape and that is when the real discovery begins. There's works housed under Gothic, Ironing Boards, Cloaca, and much more.
He has stained glass pieces created with x-rays and internal body views. If there's one thing that's consistent about his work, it's a fascination with underlying structures and mechanisms.
He said in an interview with Nicolas Bourriaud:
I'm a boy and I'm not ashamed of what I'm made up of: science, trucks, cars, models, and to a certain extent my aggressive side. And I never use the female body. Except in stained glass windows. Most of the time, however, I explore scatology: the colon and the stomach. Sexuality interests me less than digestion does as a subject and as a metaphor. I'm more interested in themes that unify. Art is not by definition morally good. I've never believed in justifying one's good heart or intelligence through art.
His attention to detail is amazing, with an ability to discover and impose beauty upon what might otherwise be thought of as mundane or banal objects, like a Catherdral-esque bulldozer (above).
And just to throw you a curveball, he's also a tattoo artist. He tattoos people... and also pigs. Yep. I'm sure animal rights activists would be none too pleased about his work on live animals, but hey, you can't deny the guy has amazing talent. Check out his site and fall into the world of Wim Delvoye.