Martin Hyde’s questioning of the real world

In light of the brand new design festival Collectible, The Word-favourite creative collective The Hope has invited an impressive roster of artists from all around. One of them is Belgium-based Canadian Martin Hyde (1975), who is constantly playing with the blurred lines between reality and the dream-world. We’ll be doing our bit to shine some light on these creatives ahead of the festival opening this Thursday 8th, in a rather impromptu yet necessary collaborative mini-series.

At its core, what is your work about? How would you describe it?

I question what the (real) world is: is it the one of night-time and dreams, or rather that of the waking state? It’s materialised into odd juxtapositions of disparate objects.

What is the starting point and statement?

The starting point of my work, my images, my thoughts don’t actually come from an artistic context, but rather originally from illustrative material. This means catalogues, random online stuff and junk mail in addition to charts taken from scientific encyclopedias dealing with the subjects of botany, zoology, porn, architecture, mechanics. My technique is the systematic exploitation of the “accidentally” or artificially provoked encounter of two or more foreign realities on a seemingly incongruous level, and the spark of poetry that leaps across the gap as these two realities are brought together.

Can you talk to us about your approach in general?

I’ll quote Max Ernst to best answer your question: “I found figural elements united there that stood so far apart from each other that the absurdity of this accumulation caused a sudden intensification of my visionary facilities and brought about a hallucinating succession of contradictory images.”

What characterises your work?

I would like for my artistic vision, along with my humour and verve to stimulate the visceral and prod the intellect.

How do you actually work on a piece, from start to finish?

I work on something until I get an idea for something else. Boredom is an occupational threat.

What series and / or project are you currently working on?

Mainly tiles, T-Rex in the Garden of Eden, Cute Animal with Cigarettes, looking at flowers.

Who would you say was instrumental in shaping your artistic practice?

To be honest, I would have to say my dog has had a great influence on my artistic practice. He doesn’t fear to express himself and is always on the alert for a new approach.

“I found figural elements united there that stood so far apart from each other that the absurdity of this accumulation caused a sudden intensification of my visionary facilities and brought about a hallucinating succession of contradictory images.”

How do you see yourself fit into the country’s contemporary art scene?

The humour of it all.

Talk to us about the people around you, your local scene. To what extent does it inspire and influence you?

THE INTERNET, and a couple of weirdos down the street. Their dog is friends with my dog. Inspire is not a word, I would ever associate with.

What does success look like to you?

An interview with The Word.

To you, what role should contemporary art occupy in the community?

This isn’t in the job description… But if I had to give an answer, it’d be to give people something to chew on, and get annoyed about.

Which Belgian artists do you follow, look at for inspiration? Either from the past or the present.

Any Dutch artist from the Dutch Golden Age. Genre painting, or scenes from everyday life.

On a more personal note, how does your everyday inform your work?

My work is about getting away from the everyday.

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