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Jan Fabre (b. 1958)


L'histoire des larmes (2005) [web only; no mobile-media]


Jan Fabre (born 1958, Antwerp, Belgium) is a Belgian multidisciplinary artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer.

He studied at the Municipal Institute of Decorative Arts and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Between 1976 and 1980 he wrote his first scripts for the theatre and made his début performances.

Established in 1986, Troubleyn/Jan Fabre is a theatre company with extensive international operations, with its home base in Antwerp, Belgium. From 1980 he began his career as a stage director and stage designer: Fabre is famous for his Bic-art (ballpoint drawings). In 1990, he covered an entire building with ballpoint drawings.

He explores the relationships between drawing and sculpture. He also makes sculptures in bronze (among them The man who measures the clouds and Searching for Utopia) and with beetles.

His decoration of the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels Heaven of Delight (made out of one million six hundred thousand jewel-scarab wing cases) is widely praised. In 2004 he erected Totem, a giant bug stuck on a 70 foot steel needle, on the Ladeuzeplein in Leuven.

In 2008, Jan Fabre's The Angel of Metamorphosis exhibition was held at the Louvre Museum.