We have an appointment at the old Opel garage in Augustijnslei in Brasschaat, near AZ Klina, where there is a viewing time on Friday, October 21 between 8.30 and 9.30. The auction for the 28 lots, each with two painted mannequins, starts on October 20 and closes on October 27 at 16 at VH Auctions. Ludo Modelo would have loved to show them to us, but we can’t get in and they’re so far from the windows that we only see a painted Lucky Luke and four Daltons in the distance.
In the Watersportlaan in Viersel, where Modelo Art vzw rented a warehouse, just like in Brasschaat, there was already a viewing moment for the first auction with 62 lots on Friday. The auction ends on October 19 at 4 p.m. There are two donkeys, one of which is a painted donkey from the Donkey Parade. Current offer: 120 euros, well below the price. Also dog and duck statues, paintings, an easel, ladders and other material.
Hippo and donkey parade
And say that the painted mannequins would normally be auctioned on 4 November in the Casino in Knokke. “But there was one creditor who couldn’t wait any longer,” says Ludo Modelo. The Antwerp artist was introduced to the Hippo Parade of life-size painted hippos in 2018 that appeared all over the city of Antwerp, from the Harbor House to the Butterfly Palace. Joyce De Troch also painted a hippo at that time. In 2019, Ludo did the trick again with the Donkey Parade, easels that he had painted by artists and which stood from Knokke to Hasselt.
The statues were auctioned off for charity after the parade. The auction of the donkeys from the donkey parade in Lint even brought in more than 70,000 euros, twice as much as the hippo parade.
“The concept came from me, but I was always looking for other artists to paint the pictures together. I originally had another idea in 2020 when I was contacted by the clothing chain C&A,” says Ludo Modelo. “They would give me a lot of mannequins. That’s how the art project was born We are all humans, fifty painted mannequins that appeared all over Antwerp. Normally they would have been auctioned in October 2020 for Hand in Hand against pediatric arthritis, donkey therapy in Kampenhoeve and Armen TeKort vzw,” says Ludo.
But due to corona, that auction was moved to April 2021 and then to winter 2021. Each time there was an unexpected peak and postponement. As a result, vzw Modelo Art fell behind in terms of VAT. There was no income and the subsidies from the city of Antwerp were cancelled. “Now I had finally planned the auction on 4 November, within two weeks, in the Casino in Knokke. But the landlord of the glass containers could not wait any longer. The hippos and donkeys were so big that they couldn’t be stolen, but such a mannequin – there are also children among them – can easily be tucked under the arm. That is why they were exhibited in containers.”
At the end of September, Ludo Modelo heard through a friend that his non-profit organization had been declared bankrupt by the court. “I didn’t even know it was possible in a non-profit organization. Confrontational. I had to immediately hand over the keys to the storage spaces I rent. You feel like a criminal. In Viersel there were still personal paintings that I usually sell for between 1,500 and 2,000 euros. But because they were there, they also belonged, so to speak, to the non-profit organization. I think the highest bid now is something like 30 euros. No cat also knows that those auctions are going on. That’s why I was actually happy when you contacted me. The curator has promised that if there is still a surplus, I must divide that amount between the charities. I really hope so. If the auction in Knokke had been allowed to continue, the proceeds would have been much higher.”
Ludo Modelo is not yet sure if he will start a new art project under a new non-profit organization next year. “The cultural sector is in dire straits, just look at the protests. I used to look for corporate sponsors, but those companies are also struggling now. I’ll think about it a bit more, but for now I’m saying no. The bankruptcy hit me like a bomb.”
Would you like to bid on a painted mannequin, donkey, duck, bulldog or other art object? Look at www.vhauctions.com, bankrupt Modelo Art vzw