It is not painting or sculpture that drives Stief Desmet, but ‘shaping’ stories by means of images. Strong images that are recuperated, de-constructed and re-constructed in paintings, sculpture, video and performances. His tools are the images that surround us, from daily life, to art his- tory, to fairy-tales, ... Layer upon layer images are sampled to finally create an image that is a complex combination of multiple impulses. Daily visual, aural or tangible stimuli feed his art. He uses a growing repertoire of powerful, familiar images that allow easy association for all. It’s all about prototypes, templates stored in the collective minds, depicted through simple silhouettes. The image is almost the same as its value, like in a rebus. The shape of a story always starts out very clear. The pure and often idyllic shape and meaning of the icons put the story in motion, followed by an impulsive and intuitive process of building, searching and destroying. We can see a house in the forest, a shepherd dog in the dark, a landscape, a deer, a lion, ... Stief Desmet is hovering between two worlds: the ‘urban’ life he faces every day, a context that is both familiar and inspiring, but which also makes him longing for that other more ‘natural’ world. This escapism is clearly present in his work. From this fundamental restlessness the artist creates and balances on the thin line between both worlds.