Jacques Dujardin: Artist… and beekeeper

The Kiss, Jacques Dujardin

Jacques Dujardin is first and foremost an artist, but there is a certain amount of spillover from his other passion: beekeeping. 

The Green Door Gallery opened  “HOMAGE”, a solo exhibition by the renowned Belgian artist on 26 May. Dujardin has won numerous prizes and awards for his art, including Médaille du gouvernement de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles and has represented Belgium at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and again in 2016 where he formed part of the ‘WUNDERKAMMER’ along with Jan Fabré, Wim Delvoye and others. 

In addition to his own work, he worked in restoration for more than forty years. Working with paint all day inspired him to turn to materials other than paint; he used vegetables, fat and even meat. In this exhibition, he has returned to paint. He told Together that the collection of six small white paintings (20cm*20cm), which are part of the exhibition, were his way to recommence painting with oil: “It was a bit like a pianist starting with scales, I restarted with these small white on white paintings.” 

In this, his first solo exhibition at the Green Door Gallery he pays homage to his heroes in art including Da Vinci, Vermeer, and Van Gogh. It is with a nod to these masters that this collection of new works highlights his intense commitment to nature. As an avid beekeeper he is more aware than most of the importance of bees – how we depend on them for our very survival. He often introduces these beloved bees into the image; for example the small oil painting Paul C (33 x 27cm oil on canvas) is based on the original self portrait of Paul Cézanne. In Dujardin’s version the beard is made up of a swarm of bees. A perfect demonstration of this artist’s unique sense of humour with his masterful painting skills.   

You can buy a jar of the artist’s honey at the exhibition. I’m wondering if this could catch on, food pairing with art!

The exhibition runs until Sunday 18 June 2023. Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 2-6pm Saturday and Sunday 12 – 4pm. Also open Monday 29 May (public holiday). 

The Green Door Gallery is one of the newest private galleries in Brussels. It is situated at 19, rue Murillo close to Parc Cinquantenaire/Jubelpark.