The Philosopher shows an almost owl-like, cubist figure, supposedly representing wisdom. The figure is cast in aluminium and has kept its rough surfaces, keeping it an unpolished creature. The Philosopher is accompanied by Death and The Leader.
This trinity is part of Atelier Van Lieshout’s larger project Cryptofuturism. Through this body of work, Van Lieshout translates Futurism, the art movement of the early 20th century, into 21st century contemporaneity in a disruptive manner. Technology, big data, acceleration, conflict, aggression, robotics and recycling are mixed with poetry and romanticism. Not only do they show a new direction in the oeuvre of Van Lieshout, but they also offer us a glimpse of a possible future under construction, based, on the one hand, on destruction and deconstruction. Yet, on the other hand, the work depicts the optimism of (re-)construction and new energy. Past and future, modernism and primitivism, the rational and the irrational, utopia and dystopia, art, energy and science are brought together and investigated. In this way, Van Lieshout creates new systems and worldviews on the ruins of the past.