Antwerp

Angel Vergara

Gallery Vera Van Laer

Imagine one day entering your favorite gallery, only to find it has been transformed into a bistro differing from a typical SoHo café only in that the service is better and the place seems to have been there for centuries. You have probably walked into an installation by the artist Angel Vergara, one of Belgium’s best-kept secrets. Vergara may appear at first glance to be a practical joker, yet his work is never as obvious as it seems. In the café projects recently presented in Brussels, Antwerp, and Tokyo, or in the stylish ice-cream parlor he created in Aachen, Germany, one could sit and have a beer; but by consulting a hand-painted price list, one could also order and consume art à la carte, tax included—even pay to hear the story behind this faked reality.

Calling his alter ego Straatman (Streetman), Vergara travels widely with a white tablecloth he calls his “portable studio,” from

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