Fine dining and in the meantime enjoy unique art, at the three-star restaurant Hof van Cleve by chef Peter Goossens it has been a matter of course for several years now. Until the end of this year, a West Flemish man can spruce up the walls: Ruiseledenaar Frank Tuytschaever, better known by his stage name DD Trans. “This gives me a big boost,” he says. “If you can hang your wagon on the Eddy Merckx of international gastronomy, you shouldn’t hesitate.”
An arrow with wings hanging down, a heart made of meat hooks, a circular spirit level, a snow-white plate from which a large bite has been taken… These are some of the fifteen works of DD Trans that can currently be admired on the slim walls in Hof van Cleve in Kruisem.
With three Michelin stars and 19.5 out of 20 at Gault&Millau, the living legend Peter Goossen’s restaurant is a definite culinary top, but that top class extends beyond what is served at the table. The restaurant has had a new tradition since 2018: Each time a Belgian artist gets the opportunity to show his art in the restaurant for a year. “Then Kortrijkzaan exhibited Kris Martin here for a year. He is the man behind, among other things, the metal version of the Ghent altarpiece on the beach in Ostend. He also drew Jan Hoet’s grave”, says Peter Goossens.
After i.astill images by video artist David Claerbout and photos by dEUS frontman Tom Barman, it is now the turn of DD Trans, which stands for Transforming Daily Things. Behind DD Trans is Frank Tuytschaever (59) from Ruiselede, who works part-time as an educator at Mivalti in Tielt, but above all is an artist at heart and soul.
“I made my very first creations when I was fifteen,” he explains. “They were small ceramic sculptures. A few years later I already exhibited in the cultural center in Tielt. Thanks to my mother who loved art. We spent our holidays in cities of art. It was given to me with a spoon.”
At 22, Frank focused on contemporary art and his work was quickly picked up by Richard Foncke, a top gallery in Ghent. “I was there between clappers like Andy Warhol and Marcel Broodthaers.”
“I see my work as a modern form of surrealism with a touch of pop art, in the atmosphere of René Magritte and Marcel Broodthaers”
Twenty years later, he took a break. “The course of life”, he describes that choice. “I also had the feeling that I was running a little too many fairground races under my own church tower. It was all a bit too local for me. Seven years ago I started creating again. Partly under impulse from my children, who thought I was neglecting my talent. Art is a microbe, you can’t stop it.”
His art describes the man as minimalist. “I take action on existing objects from our everyday world. I get my inspiration everywhere: at home, at work, on the street… It is very possible that an idea will appear in the kitchen or the bathroom. I consider it a modern form of surrealism – for which our country is world famous – with a touch of pop art, in the atmosphere of René Magritte and Marcel Broodthaers. I want to make people think about my artwork, make them think. Behind every creation is symbolism. The circular spirit level, for example: putting people on the wrong foot. Or the heart made of meat hooks: love can also have sharp edges.”
Everything for sale
Frank considers it a great honor that he is allowed to exhibit at Hof van Cleve until December. “Peter Goossens is the Eddy Merckx of international gastronomy. If such a monument asks you that question, you simply cannot be in doubt.”
Peter is beaming. “I think Frank’s work is top notch. Furthermore, it fits perfectly into our concept. Everything that hangs here is also for sale. Our hall staff can provide guests with all the necessary information, and you can see the entire DD Trans catalog in the entrance hall. What Frank is doing deserves all the support.”
Words that actually make Frank blush. “Hof van Cleve gives a fantastic boost. In museums you look at a work of art for a few minutes at most, here you have hours to study it. The famous Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar in the Netherlands owns seven of my works, which I have previously exhibited in Walter Van Beirendonck’s shop in Antwerp and in Ronda in Spain I was allowed to show my creations in Frente Arte, the studio where The ideal breakdown of dEUS is included. Well, I put Hof van Cleve in the same row. A prime location.”
The passage in Hof van Cleve helps DD Trans stand out from the crowd, he says. “The art world is a tough sector full of competition. You have to be able to profile yourself and dare to stick your head above the ground. With Mulier Mulier, I now have a top gallery that represents me in Knokke and Brussels. In combination with exhibitions like Peter’s, I make a difference thus.”
“In museums people look at a work of art for a few minutes at most, here they have hours to study it”
“In the coming years, I want to make a name for myself on an international level. I recently exhibited in Marseille and currently my work can also be seen in Israel. I work with art every day. Creating something new with my hands, but ideas keep popping up and down in my head. What I do looks simple at first glance, but it has always been very well thought out. The concept must be finished.”
Frank will eat with his family in the three-star restaurant in October. “In return for Peter”, he says. “In 2017 I shot my feet under the table here to celebrate my wife’s 50th birthday. Back then I only knew Peter from the television, now we are gradually becoming friends. I plan to treat him and Kris Martin, who introduced me here, to dinner at Willem Hiele in Oudenburg. But my favorite dish is and remains the vol-au-vent with fresh fritters like Peter Goossens.”
Another thing: anyone who wants a DD Trans on the wall will have to average 4,000 euros for it.
All info via the Instragam page: DD Trans.