Biography - Wim Franssens

"Only pessimists forge the iron while it is hot. Optimists trust that it will not cool down." Wim Franssens (Boom, 1974) may strongly believe in this statement by German writer Peter Bamm, but he too had to experience that an artistic life does not evolve in one predictable straight line.

However, at the start everything seemed to look quite obvious, with an education in photography. When time came to dive into professional life, he made a career choice that pushed the artistic into the background. Diving, fishing, sports shooting and a family took up all free time.

But creativity can't be tamed and after years, creating returned. Initially through paintings and later in realizing self-designed furniture. Eventually, the creative microbe landed in free sculptures and other metal creations. What began as a hobby soon morphed into passion. A passion that tolerates no rules, because each sculpture is a new adventure whose beginning is known, but the result always remains a surprise.

The creations mainly use iron, supplemented by wood and epoxy: materials that offer the possibility to work solid on a large scale, but also have sufficient flexibility. Indeed, each work is a search for spontaneous curves and the interaction of colors, light and shadow. The result may sometimes be abstract, but the playful character remains. After all, the creations have to live. Literally, because by letting the iron corrode, the creations eventually go their own way.

In the warmth and colors that characterize the works, social commitment and positivity are palpable. Equality and justice - sometimes hidden, sometimes explicit - find their way into the sculptures. The creations are thus not detached from everyday life, and the inspiration for these images can therefore come from anywhere: from a vague idea or a concrete question from an acquaintance to a small remark from a boy in the neighborhood. It should therefore come as no surprise that all sculptures are handmade and original and remain so. A new version will never be a copy. 

After all, each individual work of art must live and be a surprise.

Text: Koen Van Meel

"Each individual work of art must live and be a surprise."