Sanguis Sum, 2001 by Jan Fabre

Year: 2001

Material: Bronze, Bluestone & Boulder

Dimensions: 65 × 80 × 30 cm

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Jan Fabre (Belgian, b. 1958)

Jan Fabre’s signature blue ballpoint pen drawings and ornamented sculptures engage themes of life, death, and memory while reflecting his love of performance art. Conceived in homage to death and the artist, The Man Who Measures the Clouds (1998)—a bronze figure perched precariously atop a ladder on the edge of a crate raising a large ruler to the sky—expresses the feeling of planning the impossible. “I create spiritual realms through my art,” explains Fabre, who rejects the cynicism he sees as prevalent in contemporary art. Many works incorporate jewel beetles, which Fabre appreciates for their beauty, memory, and ability to process information, which he says has enabled them to survive millions of years. Their emerald-like shells—1.4 million of them arranged in various forms and patterns—encrust his work for a ceiling in Brussels’ Palais Royal (Heaven of Delight, 2002).