[50×60 cm | Mixed media]

STATEMENT

I paint in terms of (what might be called) ‘Sedimentary Symbolics’. Imagine fossils of tentative symbols caught in the middle of the process of becoming and fickle figuration, which might be described as something not yet ready to be some thing. What is the content of such indecisive life forms? All embedded and partially excavated – sometimes with a toothbrush, sometimes with a shovel. Yet also being seething singing possible worlds in a microcosm of a flat surface. Humming a life not yet articulated and therefore at the height of existence and the heyday of being. Some paintings might be more in the line of the biological/physical aspect of nature, the way we perceive nature via senses; these microcosms may appear simultaneously reminiscent of lichen, organic matter and galaxies. In connecting these seeming opposites, the astronomical and the earthly with the symbolic world that lies hidden under layers of time and habitual seeing, I aim for a fundamental sameness of presence. The silence of being reflected as the music of life but protected by holding these microcosms firm; no longer will they be made dissonant by layers of language and re-presentation. The worlds you see here are the worlds of the paintings. In seeing such a world, you share and populate that world as it implies giving yourself up to it and become part of it. If not you’re not seeing it at all. Should you interpret it, you steal it and simultaneously destroy it as a living organism: it becomes a reflection of your personality, thus the potential of a shared life is lost in translation. In the interest of clarity and attempting to ward off common misunderstandings: I do not seek to uncover ‘that which language can not reach’, nor do I aim to ‘reach beyond language’, simply because there is no such thing.

Language is itself beyond life: no more than an artificial construct of imagination. Language always signify a detachment from life. Art – on the other hand – is individual creativity in symbiosis with life. Indeed, language is in direct opposition to art, not just in terms of being different in kind mind you, but in terms of a hostile opposition. Regrettably we live in a culture that’s pledged total allegiance to the linguistic habit long ago, and so we have to learn to cultivate a different habit, one of restraint; no longer should we seek to understand everything, name it, define it and most seriously, interpret it. In fact, where does this habit start? At what point do we cross the threshold where we simply cannot stop the process of interpretation from taking over?  This demarcation line between the painting modes of abstract, figurative and symbolic, versus the anti-art and anti-life mode of language, is one that painting is well suited to address. Philosophy can only go so far, because relying on language it does not have the potential of being liberated from language. It may discuss this liberation in the fanciest of words but these words would remain words. Life knows better, art knows better, let’s start there. In the words of Beethoven: “From the heart – may it return to the heart”, because – alluding to Saint-Exupéry now – that is our only mode of true vision. Seeing with the heart means remaining in the seen world, sharing it and so holding up your end of a deal that you have long forgotten. In other words, seeing with the heart means remembering. But in this case, what is remembered is not a memory.