Borneo > 2003
The tropical rainforest and tales of maritime exploration continue to be reflected in my work. Indeed, travel and displacement condition my work - the many places I lived in throughout my childhood and those others my chronic wanderlust has led me to since then have always had an impact on the choices and directions I have taken. The knowledge that a new perspective can be acquired over things we believe to be "fixed" triggers curiosity and fosters a certain degree of unconformity. The need to find and learn new ways to depict whatever it is I wish to depict keeps me on my toes and doesn't allow me to settle with the tools or the style I am already familiar with - I am constantly "on the move" and my painting is meant to be a record of the path I move along.
Perceived from a distance my approach tends to be cyclic, each cycle divided into series. Progression occurs from the outside in – from the surface to the core, from a certain degree of figuration to abstraction. Upon tackling each new theme I will be struck by the outward aspect of things and charged with a strong desire to capture it. However, I choose not to, preferring to contradict this initial urge in an effort to synthesize the constituent parts that make up the whole and create my own landscapes. Thus I sway between figuration and abstraction. This will perhaps explain why each new beginning is more representational. It is a natural part of a process that I allow to go on for as long as necessary and until such a point when I realize that my own building blocks have acquired a life of their own.
I am not an immediate artist. I am not interested in capturing the light on a particular object, the beauty of an instant and much less the raw anger and frustration that sometimes overcomes me. My aim is to grab hold of the beauty and magnitude of things that escapes time – the light, followed by the rain, followed by the mist, followed by the night; the fire, the demise of the object and its rebirth. To do so I must repeatedly familiarize myself with a different type of vision, one that allows me to go beyond the three dimensions we seize in our customary state.
The rainforest is a living entity. When we get caught up in the immediate beauty of the moment and attempt to capture it we at once forget the deeper dimension toward which the instant and the feeling it had provoked within us were pointing at. We are left with the snapshot and loose track of the life we extracted it from. We capture each snapshot in succession [ trapped in time ] one after the other and put them together in our minds to create the movies of our lives. But we never see them simultaneously. We are unable to perceive the whole of the experience at once – the living entity always succeeds in escaping our grasp. To capture Life we must go beyond perception, let go of our precious snapshots and concentrate at another level – the level of the feeling that was awoken in us by the heightened awareness experienced when first coming upon the snapshot!
A significant portion of the technique I resort to is abstract-expressionistic, though I do not consider myself an abstract-expressionist – I lack the immediacy. I will often work on several paintings simultaneously over a relatively long period of time, creating and destroying layer after layer after layer, until I am pleased with the feeling each piece stirs in me. When this happens the painting is complete – not because it emulates nature but because it brings me closer to a moment of heightened awareness experienced at some stage [perhaps far removed in time but always present beyond time].
Inexplicably, this delay allows me somehow to escape time and deepen my knowledge of my surroundings: to notice the subtleties that are present one moment and gone the next, and to become increasingly aware of the pulsating undercurrents that the mere senses fail to capture.
Art affects us in unexpected ways. It can induce us to advance in new directions, to consider a certain book, to be suddenly moved by a particular piece of music that had previously left us indifferent. Indeed, all artistic manifestations are linked in such a way that contact with one will lead to an attraction toward another and in such way lead to subtle changes in the way we perceive reality and, eventually, what we become.
Dali led me to an interest in the fourth [and further] dimension[s] and the determination to capture and depict it in my own way. Dali's melting clocks are not merely deformed objects hanging over the edges of tables or other similar planes, they point to the melting away of the concept of time [time being the way in which our limited apparatus translates the 4th dimension]. The figures he conjures from reflections in pools or the unexpected shapes of objects are his own ingenious allusions to the dimensions we may perceive once we understand fully our relation to time.
The glimpses we are given of the 4th dimension are short-lived and often discarded. I have found it to be more a profound and altered feeling of my presence in the environment than an actual vision. At this stage the closest I can come to depicting such a heightened emotional state is by departing from linear perspective and removing as much as possible the elements of figuration that tend to automatically encapsulate our thought-process within its habitual mode of operation, so as to hopefully liberate the viewer and bring him/her to share in the possibility of this new vision.
In a certain way my works are ... Read More