For over thirty years the Belgian artist has been developing an art of living in order to transform the common object into an objet d’art and the ordinary gesture into perfection. Internationally known for putting together remarkable combinations with timeless objects rather than following trends. As we speak Vervoordt’s exhibition dubbed ‘Room of Wonder I’, in Antwerp, is up and running until April. But where did it all start?
Vlaeykensgang is where it started…
In his book called Stories and Reflections, Axel tells the story of his life and more, giving us a glimpse of what it was like growing up and being the inspiring man he is today. However, it was Axel’s mother, who made a living out of buying, restoring and redecorating houses, that lead him to buy Vlaeykensgang in 1968. Vlaeykensgang is an alley in the historic center of Antwerp which dates from 1591. It used to be occupied by the poorest people. In times where old parts of the city were being destroyed because of modernization, Axel borrowed money from his father to purchase and restore sixteen Renaissance buildings in order to save the historic alley. Until this day, Vlaeykensgang is still property of the Vervoordt family.
As he grew as an artist and met his wife May, they started one of the greatest antique empires in Belgium. Later Axel would also focus on art and interior design. Which lead to him designing the homes of many famous celebrities like Kanye West, Robert De Niro and Kim Kardashian.
Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation
Since the early ’80s, Vervoordt has been combining objets d’art together in masterful ways at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. In 2007 he also started curating exhibitions at Palazzo Fortuny as part of the Venice Biennale. And in 2008, the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation became a reality. A non-profit organization that emerged out of the exhibitions Axel curated in the past. The foundation is a way to set up exhibitions and preserve the objects’ integrity for the coming generations.