2015 – oil on canvas, 150×200 cm / 59×79 in
“Great art – or good art – is when you look at it, experience it and it stays in your mind. I don’t think conceptual art and traditional art are all that different.” Damien Hirst
I totally agree with Damien. I always found the restriction of the phrase “Conceptual Art” to installations, happenings and other (often ridiculous) activities, and its opposition to Painting and Sculpture, completely ludicrous. When the geniuses of the past created their eternal masterworks, can anybody really believe that they had no concept, no intention in mind? And, how about today? I create my sculptures, and even more so, my paintings, with a clear idea and concept in mind. Only in my drawings, I play without a concept, which makes them the most “conceptual” looking for the adepts of this strange philosophy.
Another strangeness of our times is the use of the term “Contemporary Art”, mostly in conjunction with the term “abstract”. Every artistic creation by a living artist is by definition contemporary. So why is it then, that this term has been applied to a tiny minority, which concentrates all the light and attention on them? It’s the money, stupid! Their shares have been brought into play on the art exchange, where the seriously rich play their games of image and power.
My works are not part of this game, at least not yet, despite the fact that I create, by definition, “contemporary art” every day and that I am expressing abstract concepts in my mostly figurative creations. Conscience in art is such an abstract concept. I have tried to interpret it in my Cloak of Conscience, and it has taken me over thirty large paintings, bound together in “Chromatology”, to describe its contours.
I continue to believe that any artist who deserves this name, whether he works alone or with numerous assistants, needs some basic proficiencies, first and foremost the capability to draw, to design. The teachings of many oftoday’s art schools, where the pupils are encouraged just to think and not to draw, bring us ever closer to the end of art as we know it. The words of Leonardo da Vinci that “there is no art where the spirit does not work with the hand” is still true today, because art is a constant dialogue between eye, mind and hand.
As artists we have been given the possibility of expressing the tangible parts of the intangible; of allowing the mysterious to be transformed into an image. There is an ethic, a “spirituality” of artistic creation, which contributes to life and the salvation of humanity. Whether the images are more representational or not, does not change the fact that there is a concept behind them and that they are created for our contemporaries. So, tell me, this painting, which is one with a more elusive concept than most of my others, where does it belong?