Art & Design
Did you know that Brussels has around 100 museums? I did not.
The beauty of Brussels is that it hides its charming features. Slightly hidden by its cloudy mood, and the huge EU buildings and kept secret by its shy citizens, it took me sometime to discover the variety of artistic events and projects, the beauty of its cultural heritage as well as the amount of creative micro activities that happen daily in the city.
I am an italian painter and art expert and I am in love with Brussels unique charm. Calling Brussels the “EU capital” does a disservice to what this city really embodies. There is a lot more going on here than one might think. In facts Brussels is firmily an art capital and an eventful city. As a lover of the arts when I found Brussels I found a treasure.
In facts one of its peculiarity is its creative attitude. Very interesting classes and ateliers are organised every day in all the districts for both kids and adults. It sounds like everibody can paint, model, create, play an instrument.
It epitomises freedom. Its multifacted nature means I have to take time to understand what the city is all about.
Its great fun walking around the city and discovering hand crafted items on display in peoples’ windows. Some of them are real works of art and the creativity always stimulating.
Bozar, Royal Museums of Art and History, Horta Museum, Magritte Museum, Rene Magritte House Museum, Wiels Museum, Hergé Museum, Meunier Museum, Argos Center fo Art and Media, Belgian Comic Strip Center, Centrale for Contemporary Art, Cinematek, Cinema Nova, Museum of Costume and Lace, Museum of Modern Art, Museum of the Belgian Brewers, Toy Museum, Museum of Fantastic Art, The secrets of the Royal Monnaie Opera, The Atelier of the painter Marcel Hastir. All of these treasure troves are housed in wonderful Art Nouveau and Art Deco buildings and hide behind astonishing facades all around the city..
These are just a few of the places where you will be surprised by the art and creativeness of Brussels. This is just a tip of the iceberg. Many others are mostly ignored in official guides.
Did you know that Belgium has the greatest number of art collectors per square metre in the world? Some of them are active and generous players on the Brussels artistic scene. Exhibition spaces here are very peculiar like the historical venues of Maison Gregoire and La Loge. Contemporary Art Galleries deserve a detour to measure the pulse of the artistic scene.
Elegant antique dealers shine all around the city.
African Art collections due to the cities connections with the mother continent are prestigious.
Small boutiques (eg. hand crafted jewels, pottery, clothes) resemble art galleries with collections of precious creations that are very often they are the result of intercultural collaborations.
Brussels is addicted to design. Belgians are excellent designers and most of them are ironic and alternative. The city offers a wide range of design items for every taste, from fashion to furniture, and across the different periods and centuries.
Brussels loves “muzik”, the city hosts fantastic musicians from allover the world leading to amazing concerts. One of the most interesting, just to give aflavour, is the Balkan Trafik Festival in Spring. The jazz temple is the Flagey Theatre and the Brussels Jazz Orchestra is a monument to me. Yet the city has plenty of little theatres and spots with music concerts almost daily.
Events, places and projects make Brussels a true cultural crossroads. Official and unofficial national centres of cultures offer a huge variety of happenings most of them related to art. You can jump from Italy to Mexico in one night!
Brussels has also an interesting ugliness, as every peace of land on this earth it has its own story to tell.
When the sun comes out Brussels turns in a Luna Park!