Wim Delvoye was born in 1965 in Wervik, Belgium. He lives and works between Ghent, Belgium and Brighton, UK.
Delvoye appropriates and diverts art-historical styles and motifs to sublimate trivial yet rather unconventional objects, or sometimes even living subjects. Perhaps best known for naturalizing tattooed pigs in China, or mechanically replicating the digestive system to produce real feces within exhibition spaces, his very eclectic and subversive practice spans a wide range of mediums, including drawing, sculpture and installation. Constantly oscillating between antagonistic realms such as the sacred and the profane, or the local and the global, he sarcastically confronts the various myths that feed our contemporary society from religion to science and capitalism via unexpected hybridization. Whether he twists the inkblots of Rorschach psychological tests into sleek bronze idols or cement trucks into laser-cut steel neo-gothic cathedrals, most of his works implement expert craftsmanship along with high technology. Wim Delvoye’s ever-shifting, conceptual-adjacent aesthetics further question the commodification of art by strategically and provocatively escaping any attempt of definitive categorization or labeling.
Solo exhibitions of Delvoye’s work have been organized by Castello di Rivoli (1991), Kunsthalle Nürnberg (1992), Open Air Museum Middelheim in Antwerp (1997), Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris (2000), Migros Museum in Zurich (2001), Museum Kunst-Palast in Dusseldorf (2002), The Power Plant in Toronto (2004), and Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice (2009). His work has also been included in major group exhibitions such as Venice Biennale (1990, 1999, and 2009), Documenta IX (1992), Sydney Biennale (1992), Lyon Biennial (2000 and 2005), and Shanghai Biennale (2006).