St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp
Yevgeniya Lelgant: First we met, you made the impression of a very chaotic and energetic young man with electric appeal. By spending more time with you and digging deeper into your personality, I got to know some unexpected sentimental and even dark sides of yours.
Yen Proesmans: One-part prankster, one-part melancholic European I guess.
Y.L.: Would you say your multilayered inner self has an impact on your art?
Y.P.: Yes, of course in a way it formed my personality; if you look at my installations, sculptures and paintings, you find opposites and twisted subjects, but it always has a very serious starting point.
Y.L.: Taking the urinal, a ceramic sculpture of yours shown in the exhibition as an example, it has something humorous in it, especially seeing oneself in the mirror of its bottom and reading “Last time I checked I was a man”. How does it correlate with the serious starting point?
Y.P.: It was never my intention to make it humorous, but in a way the viewer finds it funny, a perfect example that after you finish a work, it creates its own image.
Last time I checked I was the man, is the reflection of me, that if I want to make it day by day, it had to come of me and not from my surroundings, I am the only one controlling myself.
Y.L.: Talking about your surroundings, the second exhibited artwork of yours: two rows of glazed tiles with sculpted ears protruding from them – picks up this issue, right?
Y.P.: Exactly, the ears are all formed by my personal imagination, they remind me of a thing I promised to myself, that I have to keep my mouth shut by time to time and open up my ears more. Especially in this modern day society it’s good to be an observer.
Y.L.: Last question. I know you have an education in art conservation. How does it influence your work?
Y.P.: It helped me enormously, it gave me a glimpse of a world that I wasn’t aware of that it existed in the first place. Literally every class we had, I tried to connect it to my own personal work. It’s because of these theoretical classes that I got the opportunity to create my own environment and got deeper and deeper in this.
© Yevgeniya Lelgant