My mythological abstract process
My art is to a large degree informed by modernist painting such as that of Picasso and DeKooning as well as that of many pop, postmodern and neo-expressionist artists: among others, Francis Bacon, R.B. Kitaj, Martin Kippenberger, David Salle, Lari Pittman, Anselm Kiefer, and Neo Rauch. I work on my images in different kinds of media: oil paint, acrylic, mixed media; my art stems from a wish to blend a more formalist, expressionistic abstract tradition with a conceptual quest nourished by my interest in the human figure, pop and mythological culture, and different forms of spirituality. The images I make simultaneously stem from intense inner turmoil and wonder expressing itself in my fascination with certain objects, images and symbols, which I observe and work from. These objects, images and symbols I choose to work from to me possess “loaded” meanings as well as symbolic societal and cultural connotations. I am juxtaposing and associating ciphers of meaning by physically bringing these objects, images and symbols together in seemingly illogical yet intellectually and culturally relevant ways. For example, one of my images, “Meditation crash”, began with me putting a toy BMW next to a small statue of the Buddha. These two objects represent different strands of cultural/conceptual subtexts and fascinated me for different reasons. Hence, I try to understand the nature of my fascination with these images/objects through bringing out their essential abstract qualities in the images I create. Throughout my imagemaking process I attempt to compose a dramatic interplay of terse, purely linear visual statements—as epitomized by the more drawing-like pencil and ink motifs on the canvas—with more gestural, transparently cathartic expression represented by the use of thick paint and intensionally intense, even garish colors. I try to see how far I can make these approaches run together while yet being their own separate entities. I let the white background show through to symbolise spiritual and emotional transcendence, the human spirit which nourishes, torments and redeems us. In certain Eastern cultures white is the color of death, as opposed to black in the Western tradition. Bright, sometimes garish colors emanate out of a field of ghostly whites and off-whites: these hint attempts to make sense of reality and life, which emanate out of feelings of emptiness, absurdity and depression created by life. In the end, the inner essence of the images and objects I look at while I create my final image will hopefully become conveyed almost subliminally, as it were–so that one can almost, but not quite, get a glimpse of their superficial appearance; mystery and hints thus revealing the meanings behind these visual ciphers along with their interrelatedness and juxtapositions. The images I come up with are reflections of parts of our fragmented world as seen from the interior of my self. So in a sense they are attempts to tap into a dimension of awareness which transcends the physical world yet is intimately commingled with it.