He was fourteen when his mother died, and goes to work as apprentice to the sculptor Van Biesbrouck in Ghent and to painter De Pauw. He follows lessons at the Sint-Lucas Academy in Oostakker and then at the Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Mechelen, where he was a classmate of Rik Wouters. To make a living, he works as a façade painter and decides to join the socialist party. Originally painting impressionist and then fauvist works, his first solo exhibition is held in Brussels in 1914. In 1917 he becomes member of the artist's circle Doe Stil Voort and develops an interest in futurism. He begins a correspondence with Marinetti and - alongside Jules Schmalzigaug - is one of the few representatives of futurism in Belgium. Between 1921 en 1922 he evolves more towards abstraction, participating at the second Kongres voor Moderne Kunst in Antwerp, before then returning to a form of expressionism.