Johan Creten started to practice drawing and sculpture at an early age. Fascinated by art, literature and music, he met a couple of passionate antiquarians in his hometown that supported him during the first years of his life. In 1985, he graduated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Ghent where he discovered a clay studio, left behind by the students. Training as a painter, Johan Creten found a real potential in this technique : he started to include ceramics elements in his paintings and familiarized with mud – that he has chosen to be his new medium. He graduated at the School of Fine Arts in Paris. In the 80’s, art was surrounded by conceptual and minimalist artists. By choosing clay, Johan Creten made a bold move, trying to open the possibility of this rare technique in the contemporary art field.
He has been firstly represented by Galerie Meyer in Paris, specialized in tribal art from Oceania that organized two of his exhibitions : « Johan Creten: Peintures et Sculptures » in 1987 et « Kunstkamer. Installation et performance » in 1988. He has also been represented by the galerist Robert Miller in New York who dedicated him an exhibition in 1988 (« Odore di Femmina ») and in 2001(« Johan Creten : 3 Torsos »).
Johan Creten is currently represented by Galerie Perrotin in New York, Paris and Hong Kong, Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels and Galerie Transit in Mechlin.
In the past twenty years, Johan Creten has been offered prestigious residencies such as the Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres and the Villa Medici. By travelling widely around the world and experiencing different studios, each residency was an opportunity to enrich his œuvre.