The Belgian painter and urban artist Spear considers his interventions highly important, as he uses them as an icebreaker with local population
an article written by Susanna Allende
ARTICULATE #14 | JAN 2018
Corentin Binard aka Spear, born in 1988 and based in Brussels, is a Belgian graffiti artist / painter specialized in portraits. Graduated in 2011 from the School of Architecture of La Cambre, he decided to trade his career as an architect for the uncertain life of a painter and graffiti artist and so create his work from his strong passion. This educational background has enabled his sense of proportion and matter in his work, before ultimately leading to experimentation with a broad range of mediums and styles before arriving at his preference for creating murals on a large and public scale. It is through Spear’s playing with light, contrast and color tones that he gets to give his portraits the realism of a photography. You will find his work both indoor and outdoor
Photo courtesy @FerdinandFeys
After his studies Spear left to South America, where he travelled around for six months with low budget, painting in exchange for food and a place to sleep. He visited among others Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Belize, Mexico and Cuba. Back in Europe he painted in Paris, Berlin, London and of course Brussels. These travels allowed him to be aware of different social realities and discover different ways of thinking and living as well as questioning himself on our lifestyle and values. Spear seeks to highlight the expression and sensitivity of the people he paints, giving a social and humanist message through his art.
Photo courtesy @FerdinandFeys
Spear considers his outdoor interventions highly important and he uses them as an icebreaker with local population: “When I’m travelling, painting gives me the possibility to be more than just a tourist and to create special relationship with the locals. From there, an exchange starts where I’m not only taking from them, but also giving something in return. We are all at the same time teacher and pupil of everyone as everyone has something to learn from everybody. All the lessons learned on the road constitute the breeding ground of my inspiration for my work and my life”. Placing big scale portraits is his way to rehumanize the cities and remind us about the importance of the person with feelings and emotions in a society that has a tendency to lose human values. The human figure has become a selling product and is only used as a tool for promotion, an empty shell.
Spear is fascinated by old masters, their techniques and the incredible power of narration in their paintings. But he is also very inspired by contemporaneous artists such as Michael Borremans, Alex Kanevsky or Conor Harrington. His work is a slow transition from an academic formation into a more contemporary representation passing from a controlled realism to a more spontaneous and deconstructed painting.
Engaged and convinced that we all can do something to change the world in which we live, Spear launched in 2012 the charity project “Painted For Them”. The aim of this project is to help people in need and break the prejudices. It is based on three axes: human exchange, artistic creation and the intention of changing the mentalities. This project represents a part of his artistic production. His last show “Invisibles” presented the stories of twenty homeless he met in the streets.
All the benefits of the show where given to associations who work to improve the situation of homeless people in Brussels. Most of his models painted in the streets are also homeless, a poetic way to make the invisibles visible again…
Spear likes to experiment both with the type of painting material and support for his works but, when it comes to material, he prefers to work on walls:
“A cloth is perfectly smooth and white, but a wall has character, relief and variation. All walls are different and painting them is therefore always a challenge”.
This article about Spear takes part of the magazine, ARTICULATE #14. Read, download or order your print version of the full publication below.
ARTICULATE 14 is a free magazine of contemporary art. 80 pages of high quality content from 6 professional artists, featuring Pablo Schugurensky, Liudmila Panenkova, Maria Torp, Lula Goce, JOSELURE and SPEAR.