Leo Copers

° 1947

Born in Ghent (), lives in Ghent ().

Leo Copers has built up a varied oeuvre of sculptural work, installations and performances since the late sixties. The starting point is an everyday object, which he changes, isolates or expands so that it will become both poetic and dramatic, speaking of danger, destruction and mortality. Copers’s work is composed with a measure of both irony and strategicic thinking. The use objects are selected on the basis of the specific expectations they create in the viewer. But this expectation is immediately undermined by means of some minimal adjustment to the context. The materials chosen may well inspire caution, but at the same time they create an alienating and romantic image. The aestheticisation of violence is a recurring element in Copers’s oeuvre. He plays on the margins between material things, harsh reality and the disturbing power of an immoral dream world, using weapons as a metaphor, as his mental clenched fist. He uses things not normally available to the artist. It is, for instance, forbidden for ordinary citizens to carry a weapon. At first sight Copers’s work often appears highly accessible and attractive, even beautiful. But this is always followed by a moment of amazement. Things are never what they at first seem, or at least not entirely. There is a hint of real danger and mystery. In addition, there is always tension between the elements used. The artist is interested in such natural forces as water, light and fire, and strives to pitch them against each other.

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