22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Brecht Evens

Portrait Brecht Evens
© Denise Dahmer

The Belgian comic book author Brecht Evens was born in 1986 in Hasselt. He studied illustration at the Luca School of Arts in Ghent and initially published in comic magazines such as »Hic Sunt Leones« and »Parcifal«. Among his most important role models and mentors are his illustration teacher Goele Dewanckel and the cartoonist and comedy coach Randall Casaer.
After his début »Een boodschap uit de ruimte« (2004; tr: A Message from Space) as well as the comics »Vincent« (2006) and »Nachtdieren« (2007; tr: Night Animals), Evens made his international breakthrough with the graphic novel »Ergens waar je niet wil zijn« 2009; Eng. »The Wrong Place«, 2011), which he started as his final thesis project. In this book about a gathering of night owls toeing the lines between longing and desire, his teacher encouraged him to use a freer painting technique – watercolor without contouring strokes – to create a unique atmosphere. The characters, which are portrayed with minimalist tools, do not express themselves in speech bubbles; they are recognizable by nuanced colors and sometimes seem to merge with each other. The work won the Willy Vandersteen Award and was honored at the Angoulême International Comics Festival. In 2011 he published »De liefhebbers« (Eng. »The Making Of«, 2012) about an artist named Pieterjan who travels to a fictitious provincial town as a star guest at a biennial. Between the strange villagers and hobby painters, Pieterjan develops his vision: a huge garden gnome is to be erected for the opening – as a symbol of Flemish identity. The opulent work with numerous allusions to art history is a parody of the sensitivities in the art world. In »Panter« (2014; Eng. »Panther«, 2016), a little girl gets a visit from a diabolical panther one night after the death of her cat. The panther wants to cheer her up with his stories from Panterland, but in reality he slowly gains control over her life. Finally, his strange friends also appear, and the story takes a threatening turn. Even’s latest graphic novel »Les Rigoles« (2018; Eng. »The City of Belgium«, 2019) draws an arc back to »The Wrong Place« and shows three friends in a flood of colors and impressions of the nocturnal metropolis, in which they experience intoxicating moments of the feeling of community despite their worries about the future. The book was awarded the Prix spécial at the Angoulême International Comic Festival in 2019.
Evens’ graphic novels have been translated into French, English, German, Spanish, Danish, Norwegian, Italian, Russian, Korean, and Polish. He has also created frescoes in Antwerp (2012, Oever) and Brussels (2018, Groot Sermentstraat). In 2016 he produced a Travel Book for the Louis Vuitton Foundation with a hundred drawings of Paris. He lives in Paris.