Maen Florin studied sculpture at the Royal Academy of Antwerp and at Sint Lucas Hogeschool in Ghent.
Since the mid-1980s, I have been sculpting in a variety of materials, including bronze, polyester, textiles and plaster. Since 2015, however, I’ve been focusing particularly on ceramics, creating monumental pieces in my studio in Schelderode near Ghent.
Between vision and experience, I try to project a new image of a world in transformation. I draw my inspiration from all living things and am nourished by the relationships that can be woven from one being to another. My sculptures are archetypes of a world that I see as an immense stage on which the human comedy is played out. My characters often appear suspended, melancholy, in introspective apparitions. I try to capture deep feelings in the expressions on their faces. When you look into their heads, a whole life appears. You can imagine the character’s life and feelings, their torments, failures and hopes. The heads are not portraits, but archetypes. Melancholy lurks behind their closed eyes; they are the ambivalence of our position in the world: monstrous and beautiful, strong and fragile. These larger-than-life ceramic heads are shaped directly from clay and painted with glaze.
Recently, in 2020, I started work on some new icons. These phantasmagorical creatures symbolize the mutations engendered by man, leading to radical transformations of the environment. Unlike the sculptures I’ve made in recent years, which have focused exclusively on male faces, the forms of these sculptures are feminine and protective, symbolizing the nourishing force of nature, the maternal force of the sea.
I am strongly motivated by the creative process in which intuition, chance and matter interact.
As a sculptor, clay has always been very important to me, but always as an intermediate material for design and not as a final product. Today, clay is the final material, much more direct and spontaneous. And thanks to my developed process of glazing, applied in transparent layers, an extra dimension opens up, with more expression, more depth, leading to more complete sculptures.