What Isabelle has always loved above all is... Art!By Shana Devleschoudere Isabelle de Borchgrave, what she loves above all, and since always, is... Art! And it is thanks to her multiple talents that she will obtain a true recognition in this field, not only in Belgium, but also abroad. Proficiat !
Isabelle de Borchgrave, what she loves above all, and since always, is... Art! And it is thanks to her multiple talents that she will obtain a true recognition in this field, not only in Belgium, but also abroad. Proficiat !
For several weeks now, we have been talking about the profile of the typical leader of our time. And this, among other things, through the prism of our recent LOBBY AWARDS. But there is one aspect we have not yet explored. And that's how we're going to close this exciting series!
The Leader is not only a captain of industry, a great financier or even a philanthropist. Other profiles, who have chosen to work alone and independently, can also be considered as true leaders. This is the case of our Artistic Leader of last year, Isabelle de Borchgrave.
Better known as Bebelle (not to be confused with Bébel!), Isabelle Jacobs (her maiden name) was born in Etterbeek to a father who was honorary consul of Tunisia. She began her career as a decorator. She also nicknamed her colleagues-competitors, not without humor, the
But Isabelle is much more than that. What she loves most of all is... Art! And it is thanks to her multiple talents that she will very quickly obtain a real recognition, not only in Belgium, but also abroad.
It was love at first sight in the 90s, in New York, where the Metropolitan combined the Saint-Laurent retrospective with an exhibition of 18th century clothes. "I would have stolen one of these old dresses", admits our interlocutor who, back home, decided to revive them at home... And in paper!
The name of Isabelle de Borchgrave is now forever associated with these splendid paper dresses. New York, Boston, London, Canada, Japan,... They have toured the world. And if this collection was named
"Fashionable papers" is probably ironic.
It was so successful that the experience was repeated three times with "Mariano Fortuny" (exhibited for the first time in 2008 in Venice), "I Medici" (2009 in Florence) and "Les Ballets Russes" (collection unveiled for the first time at the Théâtre de la Monnaie, in Brussels, on October 10, 2010).
More recently (in 2022), Isabelle has proposed a splendid collection of paper folds - her trademark, as you can see - on the theme of Egypt and the Nile, which was exhibited at the Galerie Berko du Zoute. It must be said that travel in general, and the land of the Pharaohs in particular, fascinate the artist: "I have a whole wardrobe of travel books, it is personal, intimate, we do not forget anything when we paint. I try to translate a feeling that I experienced while looking at a landscape. Egypt inspires me and aspires me enormously, one feels quickly immersed there, one has the impression that one is going to see Moses appear at the edge of the Nile. Everything is pictorial, the light and the colors change all the time, for a colorist, it's magical. But what made the event last year was the exhibition on Frida Kahlo, the famous Mexican painter, which she completely revisited.
The strength, courage and authenticity with which the Mexican woman has culturally symbolized her country and defended feminist values before their time, have inspired Isabelle de Borchgrave. This led her to propose an exhibition entitled "Miradas de Mujeres" (Women's Views) in the prestigious Museums of Fine Arts in Brussels.
Isabelle took almost three years to complete this titanic work, hand-painted, which required more than 4 kilometers of paper and cardboard to create dresses, carpets, furniture, trees and other elements that recreate the very special world of Frida Kahlo and her house, the famous Casa Azul.
Isabelle de Borchgrave is definitely an artist of her time, contemporary, but without forgetting to pay tribute to her glorious elders.
Yes, we have great talent in Belgium, but we forget or underestimate it too often. Let's take the lesson!
To learn more about Isabelle de Borchgrave and her paper talent, go to the last lobby on page 50.
In the meantime, remember that in "rock-paper-scissors", paper almost always wins...