La Napoule Art Foundation is pleased to announce that Belgian sculptor Serge van de Put is the first recipient of the Prix de La Napoule, a Clews Fellowship. This prize was established this past year by the La Napoule Art Foundation and is awarded to an established sculptor who has demonstrated exceptional accomplishment in today’s art world. This artist receives a one-year residency at the Chateau, an exhibition, and the opportunity to engage in cultural dialogue with other artists.
Van de Put stood out as a remarkable artist in both the Belgian and world art community. All but traditional, he believes that the artist not only has a mission to create, but to innovate. His use of materials such as metal, wood, and rubber created a dialogue about recycling and the second life of objects, as well as the aesthetic aspects of everyday items. He introduced the use of rubber into art by taking tires, clearly material that had another life and function, and recycling them into wondrous things of beauty.
Serge’s love of animals and people are his main themes. His work carries an element of social critique; each piece is infused with his special sense of humor and irony. His sculptures amaze and move people everywhere and clearly indicate that he has found the perfect marriage for himself between art form and material.
The recognition of his work and its contribution to the art world has only grown and garners much respect. It was this recognition and respect that the Foundation’s Board of Trustees felt made Serge a most worthy recipient.
In what hopes to be an annual tradition, the Foundation and the Clews Center for the Arts has purchased one of his pieces entitled, “Dumbo,” a giant elephant built entirely out of recycled rubber. This particular sculpture was recently shown and received with much acclaim at the Venice Biennale in 2009. “Dumbo” now greets visitors at the entrance to the Chateau each and every day. No doubt, Henry and Marie would have loved him, as they were animal lovers and keen observers of human nature.