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Spin Doctor

In his own unique way, fashion designer Kristof Buntinx champions elections. He does so without taking sides since he prefers to transcend political differences between the political parties. According to him he goes for the people behind the party. In order to back his statement, he made a number of short films, posters and a radio spot starring his favourite Belgian politicians.

“Art and politics used to be more often intertwined,” is how he explains his political aspirations. “Just think of the patrons of the arts in Renaissance Italy, where the Medici political dynasty guided artists to their greatest masterpieces in Florence.” By supporting politics as an artist, Buntinx reverses the patronage process.
 
The designer intuitively defends his choice. “I got to know the majority of ‘my’ politicians when they were active in youth wings of political parties.” The exception to the rule is Ann Brusseel. “I have never met her personally. Why does she fit into the mould? I feel she is a fascinating woman,” he states.

CD&V party member Marilyn Neven's career is more unblemished than many a social media profile. The politician is second successor for the European Parliament, but her modesty is an obstacle to her place in the spotlight. Now for the first time this new star in the sky will be the centre of attention www.marilynneven.eu.

“Poverty is an injustice,” according to Jo Fobelets, the Groen Leuven social activist. Buntinx made a funny video, not in order to make light of it, but to slightly counter this fact's deadly earnest http://joecology.blogspot.be/.

Hannelore Goeman is second successor at SPa. She likes to philosophise about theological matters, and does so often. “I admire Goeman's open approach to the world,” as Buntinx expresses his support https://www.facebook.com/hannelore.goeman

Open VLD member and Flemish MP, Ann Brusseel is famous for her no-nonsense opinions. The fact that she loves cats is a piece of trivia that Buntinx feels particularly suits her http://www.annbrusseel.be/.

Optimistic Lieven Lemmens is not only the fourth successor for the Flemish parliament, but also the principal of a multicultural primary school in Brussels (Molenbeek). Making the world a better place is at the top of his list of priorities https://www.facebook.com/llemmens.

Véronique Peters allows everyone to seek shelter under her umbrella. With her gentle nature, the second successor for the Brussels Parliament blows a new, much-needed wind into the political scene https://www.facebook.com/veronique.peters.18.

Sophie Brouhon is the fifth successor for the Brussels parliament. She effortlessly takes keeping a household budget to a higher level and as a budget expert hugely contributes to the SPa https://www.facebook.com/so..
In order to give the duo an extra boost, Buntinx also created posters for Marilyn Neven and Sophie Brouhon.

Bianca Debaets, Flemish MP, did not get a video but her own song and radio spot. The young woman is a staunch advocate of increased party and rehearsal rooms for young people and believes solidarity between people is critical. Therefore she feels perfectly at home in a multicultural city such as Brussels as well as within the CD&V http://www.biancadebaets.be/.

Listen to the radio tune.

Putin out of the closet

Putin out of the closet (all decked out in Kristof Buntinx)…

This gender-transcending game by fashion designer Kristof Buntinx is intended for both boys and girls aged 7 and up. The online game gives children the opportunity to dress Russian leader Putin in unique outfits with iconic pieces from Kristof Buntinx’ collections.

Putin's wardrobe also includes dresses Kristof designed for Belgian celebrities, and the Russian protest boxer shorts, with which the designer grabbed the attention of the world press, and the kids T-shirt line are also available.

With an eye for playful details, through the photos in the background, the game provides a glimpse of the gay calendar through which Kristof Buntinx, with the help of a number of photogenic, Russian looking gymnasts, showcased his boxer short line.

The designer jokingly admits that since last summer when he created his Russian-inspired boxer shorts, he's been afraid that he would end up with the KGB hot on his heels in a bid to settle the score. “I hope in any case that Putin, and with him lots of other Russians, will see the error of their ways,” concludes Kristof Buntinx.

Would you like your offspring to get into a current and committed computer game?

CLICK HERE TO PLAY THE ONLINE GAME!

At the Waldorf

On January 11, 2012, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, a lecture about my work as fashion designer was held by Professor Filip Geerardyn of Ghent University, Belgium, at the National Meeting of the American Psychoanalytic Association. During his lecture, Geerardyn focused on the psychological aspects of the creation mechanism. More specifically, a lot of attention was paid to the linguistic processes of metonymy and metaphor, which relate my work with that of surrealists like my compatriot René Magritte. The lecture was well received and was followed by a debate.

Shit on the wall

Whilst Saint Augustine declared that we are born between excrements and urine (inter faeces et urinam
nascimur) and rejected the physical, including sexuality, Kristof Buntinx on the other hand emphasises
its acceptance.

For the series 'Shit on the wall' Kristof ate 26 of his favourite meals over a period of three months.
He consumed the same menu for a few days for breakfast, lunch and dinner, which enabled him to
meticulously chronicle the times of the meals as well as their outcome in a diary (colour, structure and
odour) as well as to photograph them.

By opting for excrements Kristof points out that children are just simply proud of their own
natural ‘creations’ and will only start finding them dirty when they grow up. Originally people have
a strong affinity for their own excrements. These photos represent the expression of a longing for
an innocent childhood and also for a spontaneous but uncontrollable rebellion against the father’s
authority. For it is parental morals that reject this physical aspect.

A native of Sint-Truiden or Saint-Trond in French, as a child, Kristof Buntinx was fascinated by the
signposts he passed every day on his way to and from college. Instead of St-Trond he read it as ‘Stront’
(shit) and had to smile about the fact that he lived in ‘shit’. This simple play on words is perhaps also
subconsciously present during the creation process, in which Kristof works for the most part through the
sound-image as described by Ferdinand de Saussure.

To Kristof the impact of the act of creation is important: throughout the creation process he
frees himself. For example, his collection of bloody garments refers to the processing of painful
experiences from his youth when he was bullied at school as the son of the teacher and later due to his
homosexuality.

The series 'shit on the wall' represents a direct plastic reference to the process, with digestion as an
archaic model.

Vision

In this film by director Ilke de Vries designer Kristof Buntinx (b. 1975, St-Truiden, Belgium) nostalgically remembers the period of his psychotic crisis several years ago. Lying on a Freudian couch he recounts his memories, associatively linked and mixed with his current activities, including his creative design of garments and objects. In his delusion he tried to create what he was missing: something to guide him and to cling to. Feeling he was the son of God, he confirmed the latter in his symbolic father function. For it is the son who actually makes a father a father. Kristof's delusion, as a spontaneous attempt at a cure, can also be categorized as a creation. Through his delusion, Kristof created himself so to speak, just like when he creates art as a designer. In this sense Ilke de Vries's film is about the essence of the creative process: créer et se créer.






Videofragment of 1'30''

Water colours

I have a series of water colours, which I once created for my art studies as part of my final project on the ‘still-life’ theme. In French a still-life is referred to as nature morte (dead nature), hence I broached the subject of death in these water colours. People, for the most part, prefer to avoid the topic of death, but I also see love in it and I emphasise the close tie with what is precarious and valuable in life.

Revolver
My classmates were funny enough yet somewhat shocked by it. They found it strange that I turned up with a water colour of a revolver. I derived satisfaction from painting a revolver. It went very well, being able to paint a water colour without basing it on a pencil drawing. It was put straight on paper, which was quite fun since it is a difficult technique, which I had mastered quite well.

Skeleton
I had taken a monkey skeleton as a point of departure, an orang-utan, I believe, from the Royal Middle Africa Museum. I painted the skeleton as it appeared in the museum. Typically I would not provide it with a background, to me it wasn’t necessary, twaddle. But I had to comply with what was expected in art school. Years later skulls and skeletons became more prevalent in fashion. When I look at it now, it occurs to me that Paul Delvaux also painted a lot of skeletons. Whilst the painting of revolvers provided me with cheerful enjoyment, the painting of skeletons conjured up fond peace and quiet in me.

Set-up butterflies
I love them because I find them beautiful and to me this theme refers to wanting to hold on to beauty, as opposed to the thought of the transience of beauty as it is often shown in paintings depicting death. I have always drawn butterflies. We used to have a lot of them in the garden. Once I had caught them all and put them into a single bowl. The following day they were all dead and wasted away, after which we never again had as many butterflies in the garden and I never caught any more butterflies again.

The impala and the leopard
This is a reproduction of a death scene from the Africa Museum. The leopard bites the impala in the neck as vampires do their victims, whereby the vital force is transferred from the impala to the leopard through the blood. It also makes me think how kissing a man in the neck nourishes and revitalises me.