You're born in 1946 in Brussels. After studying Fine Arts at the St Luc Academy, you join Max Massot's workshop to learn the art of painting in traditional way and restoring fine paintings.

After establishing yourself as a renowned restorer you also began to deal fine arts. One day as you were working on an aristocratic portrait, tired and bored by the ugly face of the Lady, you have had this miraculous inspiration to replace her head by your own dog's one. The result was striking, but had to be just a no tomorrow joke. It did not and the first aristochien was born. The enthusiasm of friends and colleagues for this strange restoration was immediate and since then many other Aristochiens are born from forgotten family portraits and are reknown and admired through the world...

Of course there might be some parts of legend in this story... when one has the chance to spend some time chatting whith you about old masters and art of painting and restoring, we discover how deep are your admiration and perfect knowledge of their techniques and ambitions. As a restorer and art dealer you discovered whith sadness that the art of portraiture - for which you had the greatest admiration - was deeply forgotten and despised. Most of XVIIIth and XIXth Century ancestral portraits are laid in attics or sold in flea market. That's why the idea of giving them a new life and a new "dog identity" was really intended as paying them a real homage.

Charles Kleinberg

Humour et sensibilité, finesse et irrévérence, le surréalisme est une denrée dont l'alchimie est dangereuse et qui nous est typiquement belge. N'est ce pas en effet placer des objets dans un contexte insolite, ou une pensée dans un environnement qui ne lui est pas habituel?

Il faut toute la grandeur d'un véritable artiste pour que ces rapprochements redeviennent une création pure. Je dirais plus: le sourire qui nous vient aux lèvres à la vue des portraits recomposés par Thierry Poncelet, est lui aussi d'une rare qualité. Que la gentille "bête" qui sommeille en nous se reconnaisse donc dans ces tableaux psychologiques.


When Ancestral Dog Portraits have themselves ancestors, here is what they could look like. Thierry Poncelet has still had a great admiration for the french illustrator Grandville, one of the best known for this type of creation.

But if we take some time to look forward till the beginning of humanity, the idea of creature mixing human and animal has still been a very popular idea.

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