How I made my own Vaast Colson: in his ‘Helena Sculpture’, open only one day a year

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How to start an art collection when you have no money? I think I’ve found my way: collect works of art by renowned artists… which those artists allow you to make yourself. I took home a Jeremy Deller from Venice, and since yesterday I’m the proud owner of a Vaast Colson. Only once a year (August 24) the noted Belgian artist opens his Helena Sculpture (2006). It contains 12 paintings made by Colson in 2004 of Helena, the daughter of German artist Martin Kippenberger (Helena: The paintings Martin couldn’t paint anymore), as a reference to Martin Kippenberger’s series Jacqueline: The paintings Pablo couldn’t paint anymore (1996). Inside Colson’s ‘vault’ you’ll also find a desk with an acryl plate engraving – the synthesis of the 12 portraits – at which you can sit to make your own Vaast Colson: by placing a sheet of paper on the engraving and then rubbing crayon over it.
As the Helena Sculpture is opened only once a year, on Helena’s birthday, your work of art is rather unique. The sculpture is now on display as part of the wonderful The collection as a character (through September 22) at M HKA (Antwerp) and was opened, last Saturday, for the first time at the museum of contemporary art. Making my own Colson proved to be hard work, but when I had finished it, the master himself complimented me smilingly: ‘The most complex one so far.’

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