Dries Ketels

Dries Ketels

Brussels, Brussels, Belgium

About Dries Ketels

When I create a series of artworks I ask myself often the following question: “What would the art world, two centuries ago, have thought about this particular series?” Whenever the answer to that question is “They would surely love it.” I know I’m doing something wrong, that it's not progressive enough and not 22nd century oriented. It is my method to get rid of the ballast. In order to get forward we need to get rid of the ballast that holds us back, things that were very useful in the past but that are now out-dated, not ‘beautiful’ anymore, … is ballast that we need to let go. It’s the good old destruction-construction model, destroying parts of the past in order to build the future out of these ‘old’ building blocks.

One of the most important attitudes that helped me in developing 'Abstract Realism' and becoming what I am is the simple act of going left when everybody else is going right. It’s the only way to discover the new and push the boundaries forward. Just like life, this creative process is a balancing act, what do we keep of our past and what do we let go.

Watercolor is the medium of the future for painting! I strongly believe this. It’s simply the medium that can blend in most easily with all other fields of humanity (science, economy, etc.).

Oh yes, before I forget. I should also implement some of the traditional stuff in a statement with terms like: self-motivation, autodidact, ambition, etc. and perhaps a philosophy difficult enough so you don't have the guts to say I'm wrong and strange enough so you can see that I'm an artist. All of that just to show you that I'm serious with my art. Well, let me put it like this: I'm very serious!

The best of luck for all of you,


- Science of arts at University of Ghent
- App development at Udacity

Grants/ scholarships/ exchange programs:

- Erasmus exchange programe
- Google (EU) scholarship for app development

Selection of residencies:

- Proyecto Ace, Buenos Aires city, Argentina in 2017 (1month)
- AS/US residency 2016-2017 (3months)

And for the educational part he follows the cliché of M. Twain "Never let your schooling interfere with your education".


Full cv:

Selection of Prizes/honourable mentions:

- 1ste Prize ‘TUUËBETEGOARE’, visual art competition 2015

- 1ste Prize from the ‘Epilepsie Liga’, visual art competition 2015

- 1st prize poetry competition Harelbeke 2015
(With additional publication – “Lees me voor uit je borsten”)

- Runner up in ‘Splash 17’, painting competition 2015

- One of the selected artists in the celesteprize 2014

- Honourable mention in the Poemtata poetry competition 2014
(with additional publication – “Verdwalen in het bet van alpha”)

- 4th place/ honourable mention SOET 2014

- 5th place/ honourable mention poetry competition De Scriptomanen 2014
(with additional publication and ebook – “De Schuilkelders van de poëzie”

- Finalist in ‘het leven als lijtmotief’ 2015

- Honourable mention in Write Now 2015


Recent exhibitions (Berlin, Buenos Aries city, Milan, etc.):

– Group exhibition in Proyecto Ace, (Buenos Aires city, Argentina) 2017
– Juried exhibition ‘Painting of the year’ CODA Museum (Apeldoorn, Netherlands) 2016
– Juried exhibition ‘TUUËBETEGOARE’ (Zomergem, Belgium) 2015
– Juried exhibition ‘ARNOEVOO’ (Bredene, Belgium) 2015
– Group exhibition Museo Marte (Campania, Italy) 2014
– Group exhibtion Marzia Frozen Gallery (Berlin, Germany) 2014
- Group exhibition Chie art Gallery (Milan, Italy)) 2014