Koen Vanmechelen, born in Sint-Truiden (BE). Lives and works in Meeuwen-Gruitrode and Genk (BE). His work centres around the themes of biocultural diversity and identity. Vanmechelen is widely known for his Cosmopolitan Chicken Project (C.C.P). Central tropes are the chicken and the interbreeding of native chicken species into ʻCosmopolitan Chickensʼ. With the C.C.P., Vanmechelen positions art categorically where it belongs: in the middle of society, engaging with people, always committed. These ideas are expanded on at the Open University of Diversity, Vanmechelen’s breeding place covering his international foundations.
Vanmechelen’s oeuvre is as diverse and hybrid as the Cosmopolitan Chicken itself. It is an enigmatic mix of paintings, drawings, photography, innovative 3D-techniques, video, installations and bronze, marble and wooden sculptures. The unifying theme remains the chicken and the egg. But nothing is what it seems. The core of the project is the process of crossbreeding and the diversity it begets.