slap on slabbinck, please

Sammy Slabbinck – master of quirkiness

The Belgian artist Sammy Slabbinck (b 1977) has a certain knack for turning the world upside-down and creating bizarrely superb collages. From his base in Bruges, vintage imagery is manipulated to the extreme and in a number of ways. For instance, images are placed in a reverse context, juxtaposing modern ideals with traditional states of mind.

The time-honoured method of exaggeration is used in the mix of oversized and miniaturised elements. The outcome is series of visual puns and they are quite often humorous in a sort of deadpan way. E.g. he might create the odd digital prank at the expense of auction houses or the big narcissistic popularity contest of our social media age, or appropriating Microsoft dialogue boxes – you know the ones that superlatively say ‘fatal error’, when fatal ought to mean deadly.

past and present

His favoured ideation method can best be summed up as ‘no method’ because there is no set way in which the work evolves. As for the execution – you’ve guessed it – it is all good old-fashioned scissor work, which is subsequently pasted together on paper or board. Then sometimes it is scanned and enhanced on computer and other times not.

His source material is ‘liberated’ from copious amounts of books and magazines dating all the way back to the 1950s. Slabbinck has collected retro images for over a decade and uses it as one big image bank for his work. He is particular fond of advertising from the 1950s. There is something about it, which creates the perfect backdrop for contextualising the present because it is so innocent and obvious. In a way, it is all saying

if you don’t understand our bewildering age, look at where we came from

The striking work has resulted in a number of commissions from the likes of Humo Magazine, Blue Q, Editions Alto , Urban Graphics, Portland Mercury Magazine, Installation Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Museum of Sex, VRT Belgium, Miss Chips, Unlimited Magazine, MP Weekly Hong Kong and On the Dot HK.

Courtesy of the artist Sammy Slabbinck © all rights reserved