Francis Alÿs (b. 1959, Belgium) since he has moved to Mexico the artist from Antwerp, has had hardly any exhibitions in his own country. Yet his slightly surrealistic work follows Belgian tradition. Alÿs gives his views on the world with figurative paintings, performances (especially while walking), photos and videos. As an architect, he is very interested in cities and city dwellers. With a keen eye and a great sense of humor he brings simple but striking actions that bring attention to the subject.
In his performance Magnetic Shoes (1994) for example, he walked several days on magnetic shoes through Havana and collected metal in this way he brought the districts in map. In 1996 he stayed a week in Copenhagen, while every day under the influence of an other drug (Narcoturismo). In 1999, he and artist Honoré d’O each at an opposite side of Venice with a half of a tuba, searching for each other and their sound – after two days they had found one another and united the instrument and played a single note . Even the artistic world was taken by surprise: at theVenice Biennale in 2001, he left five peacocks between the country pavilions, as a hint to the visitors of the opening ceremony.