“Humanity cannot move forward without recovering the work of solid wood again. The use of chipboard, particleboard, and other wood products condemn forests and furniture to an authentic ecological, cultural and historical disaster.”
Jean-Baptiste Van den Heede defines himself as a cabinetmaker-designer and an artist of academic training and family tradition. He has achieved unique designs of national and international prestige and has several awards in avant-garde furniture.
Born in Argentina in 1966, to an Argentine mother and a Belgian father. At 5 years of age, he and his family moved to Belgium.
To train as a wood professional, he first studied 4 years of carpentry. Then he continued training in cabinetmaking and carving for 5 more years. Always in search of contributing something more to his trade, he studied furniture and antique design, culminating this with the study of Sculpture at the Royal Academies of Fine Arts in Liège (Belgium) and graduating with honors.
Work the stone, the wood, and experience the forge. From the beginning, it is directed towards a search for signs, abstract writings, and unrealistic figures in analogy with other «primitive» cultures.
He taught drawing and sculpture in Brussels at the private school «la main et l´ esprit» As well as summer courses in Liege (Belgium) «Les ateliers d´art Contemporain».
In 1995 he went to Barcelona where he taught and investigated the reliefs of different supports such as trees, floors, and especially sewer covers.
He searched again analogies between current art and prehistoric, African art, etc.
Participated in several exhibitions both at the artistic level and in avant-garde design.
In 2002, he moved down to Albacete and then to a town in the province where he still works.
It is defined as «a search engine without haste or guidelines.» He says: «I only work when I feel a strong and positive inspiration invade me, an energy that I capture from matter, from the air and that I return doing the work until I feel a connection with it.»
Private workshop of contemporary art in Letur (Albacete) until 2009.
He currently works in his workshop studio in the Sierra de Madrid (Guadalix de la Sierra) following his career as a cabinetmaker-designer and artist while teaching his trade to students interested in wood.