Wim Delvoye: World's Most Badass Artist

Forget Banksy! The title of World's Most Badass Artist belongs to a Belgian conceptual artist named Wim Delvoye.

Wim's quite famous for his unconventional art, many of which seem innocuous at a glance but contains something unexpected upon closer inspection. Others, like Cloaca and the gothic heavy machinery laser-cut sculptures shown below are amazing technical tour-de-force pieces.

Whether these art shock you or whether you think that these are art to begin with, there's no denying that Wim's work are quite unique!

Here are some of the most intriguing art of Wim Delvoye:

Cloaca, the Poo Machine

Cloaca is probably Wim Delvoye's most famous art installation. In 2000, he put together a complex machinery at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp, Belgium. The machine's sole job is to simulate "digestion" and produce poo. Yep, you read that right.

Wim's Cloaca machine (cloaca is a zoological term for the posterior opening of animals) was fed meals twice a day. Then, viewers can follow the food as it makes its way through a series of glass containers (in the original set up as shown above), which represent the various stages of digestion. At the end of the tract, the machine produces feces, which are then vacuum-packed and sold in translucent boxes:

Cloaca has its own website, where you can find out more about the art project: Link | More on Cloaca at Wim's website (don't miss the Super Cloaca!)


Continuing in his obsession with poo, here are Wim's 1990 art exhibit, titled Mosaic. The artwork consists of the complex arrangement of printed ceramic tiles into symmetrical and very ornate patterns.

Only after a closer inspection would the viewers realize that on each tile are two images of the Wim's own turd!

Marble Floors

Again with the what-is-it-really-made-from angle, here's Wim's artwork Marble Floors at the Olga Korper Gallery. If you look closely, the floor is made with ... salami slices! (Actually, just printed pictures of salami - it'll be gross in just a few days if he had made it from real sliced meats)

Links: Olga Korper Gallery [Flash, click on delvoye] | More pics on Wim's own website (under "Marble Floors")

Anal Kisses

Here's a classic Wim art piece: with just a lipstick and a bunch of hotel stationery, Wim could probably fill an art and/or psychology student's master thesis with crazy thinking about Freud, his mother, and other mumbo jumbo. Why? Well, suffice it to say that those, erhm, aren't his lip prints ...

Gothic Laser-Cut Heavy Machinery Sculptures

Photo: David Edgar [wikipedia]

Photo: yw_krcf [Flickr]

Now this is awesome: a series of gothic "lace" sculpture of heavy machineries, done with laser-cut COR-TEN (or weathering) steel.

Tattooed Pigs

Photo: If It's Hip, It's Here

Wim is a vegetarian, but he has a pig/art farm outside of Beijing in China. He's not thinking of bacon, however - Wim has other plans for his swine: he tattoos them! (He said that the pigs have better, longer lives than those raised for food).

Here's the YouTube clip of Wim tattooing pigs:

Some of his most famous tattooed pigs:

That's Louis, the pig tattooed with ... you guessed it, Louis Vuitton logos!

"Sebastien" (2006): Tattooed pig skin by Wim Delvoye
Photo: If It's Hip, It's Here

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Honestly, what is wrong with people these days!! do they have any idea what is going on in this poor pigs head? We' as humans' can decide weather or not we want to inflict pain upon ourselves to express whatever we feel tatoo's express? But an animal...? common!!! This should not be happening!!!!
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OK, i'm getting really sick of this. I'm a Belgian illustrator, and i'm the last one to defend the so-called concept arts. Most of the time i think it's a waste of time and space - but hey, that's only my opinion.
I said most of the time, because Wim is one artist who really gets my respect. Okay, so he works with feces - so what? At least he's being himself, and he makes peope think twice. It's not just the poo though, it goes much further than that.
People here who only consider a "pretty" picture art, well let me say that you are short minded ( a typical american way of thinking i should say - not disciminating here but it's just the way I feel after reading the comments) I don't blame you, it's what history and the government put in our minds. Most people only think of art as a pretty painting, or maybe (if we're lucky) a sculpture. But that's where it mostly ends and after art school and other experiences i'm really fed up with that additude.
If art needs to be beautiful to look at, and only that, what's the use of calling it art? Everybody can copy a scenery, a cute little animal or a anne geddes baby nowadays. And don't give me that "you need to have talent" shit. Ok, some people are more talented than others to draw, but really It's not hard: you can be a painter yourself and paint by numbers, or you can take a piece of paper and just put it over the original and draw it over. So yes, in fact everybody can be a so-called artist. It's not hard at all to make a beautiful picture.
What's harder is to make it interesting: to put something in the work that makes it special, that makes people look twice or at least think about it.
And to all of you who have comment on the pigs: i really cannot see a problem with it. They are not trated bad, the tattooing was under narcose so they didn't have any pain at all, and it's not that they have any problems with being tattood themselves. Nothing harmful was done to their skin itself- like someone commented: farmers burn their animas all the time, so what is worse?

Art is a difficult something to discuss, and always will be. But please try to think about what you see, and stop being short minded. And If you choose to go for the last option: go back to your celebrities or whatever, where you don't have to think at all.
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David G:

Here comes a sycophantic applause: Nice!

Kayla: People like yourself make memories of 1st year Art school come crashing back to the surface ... Although I agree, any artist worth their salt should refine their "old-fashioned" skills to a point of excellence (up through high school)... but there usually comes a point after studying Art History, where one has an awakening. Duchamp was not only one of the true progenitors of this evolution, probably the greatest given the context. Andy of course, but in modern times, guys like Koons, Hirst, Friedman and Delvoye are pushing the envelope further ... I would argue not nearly as much or as far as some of the "greats" from the past ... but it's a push. I was actually getting a real giggle out of all the reactionary comments here ... if that was your intent, then kudos, otherwise it could be a case of an ostrich with it's head in the sand, argument would be pointless. Personally, I don't think this guy is a bad ass at all ... artist or otherwise.
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