Belgian Art House aims to challenge and rethink the way we enjoy and witness art. The endless possibilities that are inherent to the concept of a pop up gallery, allow us to optimize every location or venue to become a “house of art”. Not your average gallery, but an environment where people can experience art in a non-conventional way. Furthermore this allows BAH to become mobile and pop up anywhere we please.
Why “Belgian Art”?
For once, let’s not be modest: Belgian artists are noteworthy and noted in the world of art. Artists such as Luc Tuymans, Michaël Borremans, Ann Veronica Janssens, Hans Op de Beeck, Koen van den Broek, Wim Delvoye, and Jan Fabre are renowned, and collected throughout the world by numerous private and public institutions.
The Belgian Art Scene is rich in many mediums, ranging from painting, installation, photography, sculpture, … up to design and film. Moreover, we are spoiled with a crowd of young talent, such as Vadim Vosters, Steve Schepens, Nathalie Van Heule, Hilde Overbergh, Jorden Boulet, Dirk Janssens, and many others.
Recently the art world has turned it’s eye on the Brussels and Belgian art scene with many galleries opening in the area and even a NY art fair opening up in the city of Brussels. The quality and quantity of Belgian collectors has pushed many art world professionals to crave a Belgian outpost.
Who are the creative spirits behind BAH?
Tom Van Hove
As a serial entrepreneur, Tom has been a driving force behind the setup of BAH, as one of the original founders. Together with Maxime Van Melkebeke, Tom wanted to fill the gap in Contemporary Art in his environment. His keen eye and attention for detail, and hard working attitude, proved crucial in the first days and initial stage of Belgian Art House. Having had experience in large enterprises and working with large teams of employees, as well as dealing with suppliers, he was the right guy to secure sponsorships and ensure some financial stability.
After some stints in the service industry and the realtor business, his heart has always pulled him back to what he holds dear, the visual arts. Currently Van Hove is overseeing the Belgian operations of BAH, reaching out to collectors, galleries and artists.
Maxime Van Melkebeke
Maxime Van Melkebeke is a digital curator and project manager living in New York. Throughout his career as a digital project manager, Mr. Van Melkebeke has applied his expertise in digital design and user experience on ground breaking initiatives, including the European Commission’s massive anti-tobacco campaign “Ex-smokers are Unstoppable,” which is the European Commission’s most comprehensive and successful health campaign in history.
Mr. Van Melkebeke’s passion for the arts drove him to develop a new medium for how the public accesses and experiences works of art, exceeding the gallery model. Together with Tom Van Hove, Mr. Van Melkebeke founded Belgian Art House (“BAH”), which has exhibited the work of renowned artists, such as Luc Tuymans, Raoul De Keyzer, Michaël Borremans, Hans Op de Beeck and Berlinde de Bruyckere, among others, and emerging artists, such as Vadim Vosters and Hilde Overbergh, among others.
Having lived and worked in the art scenes in Belgium, London and New York, Mr. Van Melkebeke has experienced promoting the arts on an international level. His latest endeavor, Offspace.xyz, is recognized by renowned artists, curators and critics in New York and abroad for its groundbreaking presentation of art. Mr. Van Melkebeke’s extraordinary knowledge of digital project management, combined with his distinct creative vision, allowed him to transform the way we view and experience art, creating a new art exhibition format that enables the world-wide distribution of an art show in real time. Specifically, Mr. Van Melkebeke has curated exhibitions using Offspace for renowned artist, such as Robin Cameron, Tomaso De Luca, Anouk Kruithof and Vadim Vosters, among others. His recent exhibition, A Stay in the Paphos Loop, is particularly noteworthy because of its combined aspects of the visual arts, audio and literature. Brilliantly engaging the work of prestigious artists, such as Patrick Berran, Federico De Francesco, Kai Franz, Frank Heath, Shawn Kuruneru, Florian Meisenberg, Benoit Platéus, Ilana Savdie, Yves Scherer, Emily Shanahan, Travess Smalley, Clement Valla and Nicole Wittenberg, through the audiobook of Mark von Schlegell’s acclaimed sci-fi story, Venusia (2013), Mr. Van Melkebeke executed a flawless, complex group exhibition that demonstrated the capabilities of his new platform.
Further exhibiting the global significance of Mr. Van Melkebeke’s Offspace is the fact that it allows artists to reach a broader audience than ever before. In fact, distinguished Slovenian artist, JAŠA, who represented Slovenia at the Venice Biennial in 2015, recently performed on Offspace, reaching viewers in over 40 countries simultaneously.