AESTHETICS

STORIES, SHADOWS AND COLOURS

My narrative work is inspired either by experiences or by fantasies, but in most cases by experiences. These experiences are typically occurrences of the sublime, a feeling of awe which happens when I am given an acute perception of the greatness of the cosmos (when my inner seismograph registers a more intense vibration of the force of life, so to speak). So what I call my narrative work is the tale, or the trace, of those this-worldly magic instants. This makes me a romantic, in the German aesthetic sense.

My non-narrative work (pears of all sorts, murals…) is an on-going process of expression of the raw life which I feel inside of me at all times, and which needs to come out in the same manner lava comes out of a volcano. There is nothing I like to draw more than pears. The simple experience of being alive justifies and necessitates for me to draw pears.

For my narrative pieces, I mostly favour black and white, using graphite on paper or black ink when I print. Black and white is the world of shadows, lights and half-tones, a world of subtlety and complexity which allows to say more with less.

My murals and some of my narrative work use bold, flat colours. So far this approach has been the minority in my graphics work, but it used to represent the bulk of my work when I was working with metal and enamels. I use these intense colours when I want to express the pure joy of life, the feeling of tropical (Nietzsche) luxuriance it inspires me.

DIONYSUS IN THE SHAPE OF A PEAR

Greek god of wine and dance Dionysus, as described by Nietzsche, is another name for the prime life force which I am concerned with.

I have a visceral attraction for curves and all round things. The softness of bread dough, the round warmth of a voluptuous body, bread loaves, mushroom caps… In the physical world, I always find myself going back to roundness. Inevitably, this informs the aesthetics of my work in a major way.

The pear and the cloud have elected themselves a place of choice in my work, and I see them now as my own set of symbols to represent pure life. They are not visual concepts which I have established intellectually and then illustrated visually: the forms of the pear and the cloud simply impose themselves to me.

An analysis in retrospect confirms however that the sensuality, the joyfulness, the ability to trigger appetite and desire of the pear; and the lightness, the metamorphosis, the movement, the ephemerality of the cloud… these are attributes which are also those of life itself.

AN EXOTERIC, TRAGIC AESTHETICS

To me, the quality of a piece of art does not reside in its apparent complexity (which often reveals a real shallowness), but in apparent simplicity which leads on to a real depth. Even though I draw from visions, and therefore do not intellectualize my ideas when I put them onto paper, theoretically I do favor clarity (exoterism) over codes (esoterism). I believe that not only is it a mark of respect for the audience, it is a proof of excellence to be able to put forth complex ideas in an intelligible manner – in art, philosophy or any other discipline.

In the same way, I believe that humour is the best way to talk about serious things. Reality is tragic: things are what they are, as they always were and always will be. There is therefore only one alternative: to despair, or to laugh!

Runaway pig (2014)