He studied the thoughts of Sigmund Freud, Søren Kierkegaard, and Jacques Lacan, and this led to an increasing interest in the works of artists involved in investigations of the word, such as Bob Cobbing and Marcel Broodthaers. Letters, phrases, and fragments in English, Flemish and French begin to creep into his canvases, providing – or eliminating – traces of narratives in favour of incoherence, nonsense, and mystery. His works made a definitive break with painting in the form of a visual language, while his images freed themselves from any attempt at representation of the real world. The recognisability of letters, words, and figures is an illusion – an instrumental deception that thrusts the viewer into a dimension whose semantic richness can be neither clarified nor reduced to its bare minimum. We may recognise a pattern in a geometrical form, a letter that beguiles us with the graceful shapes of its composition, words in sounds - we may think we are reading them but actually what we see are surfaces, shapes, and enigmas that always mean something else, inevitably taking us elsewhere. The artist plays all the time with the elements of painting, isolating and distorting them in an infinite work of construction and deconstruction, without starting from an idea or a plan that guides him towards the creation of an image. Free from representational, critical, or ideological requirements, Swennen experiments with materials, colours, and techniques, and he makes use of every possible way of generating an image by means of a creative process with rules and parameters that are intentionally betrayed or ignored. Conceptually, when Swennen starts working on a canvas, he could create anything.