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Hugo Heyrman

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Hugo Heyrman
Dr. Hugo Heyrman playing at the Florian, Venice 1997
Born (1942-12-20) 20 December 1942 (age 81)
Known forPainting. drawing, photography, film, digital media

Hugo Heyrman (born 20 December 1942), known by his artist name Dr. Hugo Heyrman, is a leading Belgian painter, filmmaker, internet pioneer, synesthesia and new media researcher.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Dr. Hugo Heyrman was born in Zwijndrecht, he lives and works in Antwerp. Originally, Heyrman opted for a musical education, but transferred to the visual arts. He graduated from the Royal Academy and became a laureate of the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Antwerp. In addition, he studied nuclear physics during one year at the State Higher Institute for Nuclear Energy in Mol. He received a Ph.D. in art sciences, magna cum laude, from the Universidad de La Laguna, in Tenerife with a thesis on Art & Computers: an exploratory investigation on the digital transformation of art.[2]


From his earliest work, Heyrman developed a specific vision on the nature of perception. "Most of my work has to do with contemporary fragility. The works are 'ways of seeing', forms of visual thinking, they make the virtual and mental space of an image real", he declares in his website. His art practice includes painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, film and digital media. In his website 'Museums of the Mind' he continues to publish his research, theory and experiments on the telematic future of art, the senses and synaesthesia.

During the sixties, Heyrman profiled himself as an avant-garde artist with happenings, film- and video experiments.[3] Online since 1995, Heyrman became one of the pioneers in Net.art.[4] He also participated in 1988 at the 'First International Symposium on Electronic Art' (FISEA) in Utrecht.

In 1995, Heyrman coined the terms "tele-synaesthesia"[5] and "post-ego".[6] Since 1993 he is a working member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, Brussels. As of 2006 he was a professor at the Royal Academy for Fine Arts, Antwerp.


  • Continental Video & Film Tour with his 'Mobile Museum of Modern Media' through Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands. (1970–73)[7]
  • 'Street-life' paintings. Elected laureate of the 'Jeune Peinture Belge' at the Palais des Beaux-arts, Brussels (1974).[8]
  • Monumental painting series on 'Water', 'Light', 'Time', 'A Vision is Finer than a View' and 'New Models of Reality', which Heyrman describes as painting the existential tension between ideas and images; an appeal to several senses at once,[9] and [10]
  • Fuzzy Dreamz series, a work in progress since 1996, which Heyrman describes as the transformation of his painting experiences into digital media and vice versa.[11]
  • Various Internet art projects, including the online exhibitions, Digital Studies: Being In Cyberspace 'ALT-X-site' (1997) New York and 'Revelation' ISEA 2000, Paris.[12]
  • His works have been presented in major international exhibitions ranging from Antwerp, Brussels, Basel, Amsterdam, Paris, Barcelona and Chicago to the Venice Biennale.[13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1]. Bio: Dr. Hugo Heyrman, M HKA, museum for contemporary art, Antwerp, Belgium.
  2. ^ Art & Computers: an exploratory investigation on the digital transformation of art. PH.D. thesis, published in Cyber Flux News, July 1997, and in the Encyclopedia of Postmodernism, Victor E. Taylor, Charles E. Winquist, London and New York, Routledge, 2001.
  3. ^ Kacunko, Slavko, Closed Circuit Videoinstallationen, (2004) 1200 pages and DVD, Logos Verlag, Berlin, ISBN 3-8325-0600-4.
  4. ^ In 1997, Heyrman participated at "Digital Studies: Being In Cyberspace". A landmark exhibition of new media art and theory, the first-ever online net art exhibition was organized by Mark Amerika and Alex Galloway, http://altx.com/ds/index2.html See also: Histories of Internet Art: Fictions and Factions - Curation Sites, https://art.colorado.edu/hiaff/curationSites.html
  5. ^ Balkema, Annette W., Slager. Henk (Eds.) Territorial Investigations. (1999), p.152, Rodopi. ISBN 90-420-0606-4
  6. ^ Becoming Post-ego., published in the Encyclopedia of Postmodernism, Victor E. Taylor, Charles E. Winquist, London and New York, Routledge, 2001.
  7. ^ The 'Continental Video & Filmtour' project started in front of the International Cultural Centrum ICC, Royal Palace, Meir, Antwerp, on March 31st 1973. http://www.doctorhugo.org/cinemabus/modernmedia.html
  8. ^ Historique, La Jeune Peinture Belge, Lauréats 1950-1992, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels. https://web.archive.org/web/20050208204047/http://www.bozar.be/jpbjbs/fr/terugblik_1950.htm
  9. ^ Buyck, F. Jean, Hugo Heyrman's "Pictural Option", August 1986. http://www.doctorhugo.org/paintings/bibliography/picturaloption.html.
  10. ^ Buyck, F. Jean, Hugo Heyrman ‘Pictor Ecologicus’. Originally published as introduction to the retrospective exhibition of Hugo Heyrman’s paintings in the Antwerp Royal Museum of Fine Arts (1984, October 13 - December 9). Translated from Dutch by Joris Duytschaever. http://www.doctorhugo.org/paintings/bibliography/pictorecologicus.html
  11. ^ Popper, Frank. From Technological to Virtual Art. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005. 504 pp.; 154 b/w ills. ISBN 0-262-16230-X
  12. ^ ISEA 2000 International Symposium on Electronic Art, http://www.isea2000.com/an/pop_symp_village.htm Archived 2012-07-22 at the Wayback Machine Paris, December 2000.
  13. ^ Celant, Germano, The 47th Venice Biennial International Art Exposition "La Biennale di Venezia, Past Present Future", Venice, catalogue: 700pp, Pub. Date: July 1997. Publisher: Electa ISBN 88-435-6152-9
  14. ^ "The CyberBull of Venice". InEnArt. Retrieved 25 September 2013.

Further reading[edit]

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