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By Astrid Peeters

For those not familiar with the Belgian neo-conceptual artist Wim Delvoye (born 1965 in Wervik), allow me to give you a brief introduction: He is known for linking the attractive with the repulsive, as he’s the artist who shocked the world with his ‘Cloaca,’ a large installation that turns food into feces. Delvoye is also the artist who tattoos live pigs with designs like skulls and crosses and Louis Vuitton logos. Needless to say, it was quite exciting to hear the Louvre asked him to design new pieces for the glass pyramid, as well as the quarters of Napoleon III.

Even the sunniest days in Paris cannot keep the multitudes of tourists away from the Louvre. And while most only pay a visit to see the ‘Mona Lisa,’ a large part found their way to the Delvoye exposition. In all honesty, I would pay a few extra Euros on top of the museum ticket to enjoy the works at ease, instead of standing in the middle of a massive flow of people. Most of the sightseers weren’t interested in Delvoye’s work and just walked past it. But before they clear his exhibit, you’ll hear something like, “Oh, wait! A silver statue of two reindeer during intercourse? That is worth a picture!” Being stuck in the middle of this crowd, I almost missed seeing a few pieces of his ingenious artwork.

The live pigs Delvoye tattooed few years ago were a bit over the top, but the little pigs made of Iranian carpeting did tempt me. It’s interesting to see how he can elevate everyday objects into ‘pieces of art.’ His craftsmanship and inventiveness definitely surprises you; for example, the tires that were carved in floral and organic motifs, or the ‘Twisted Dump Truck’ made of laser-cut steel. A cathedral in this material is extremely well combined with relics later in the exhibition.


All the works of art shape an odd contrast to the pompous 19th-century furniture, but Delvoye’s uniqueness gives extra dimension to your Louvre visit.

Astrid Peeters, a Belgian PR student with a background in art history. She studies in Antwerp, Belgium’s unofficial fashion capital and tries to visit as many exhibitions as possible around the world.

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