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Why? Abstract Self-Portraits

After releasing my video artwork: The Abstract Self-Portrait in 2018, I began using the term abstract self-portrait to depict my paintings. From a simple title to a more comprehensive meaning that captures the process and meaning of my art. In the video I literally transformed painting Say Yes When You Want To Say No #6 into video and sound. With each added layer the painting and video unfolds, where color accentuates a tone and no paint implies no sound. It created new gateways into that in-between experience I’m searching for. The video constructs moments of contradictions and connections between process and result, painting and sound and between myself and the viewer. It created a better understanding about my work, that the process and result are just as relevant. That it isn’t one answer that I’m looking for, but it’s precisely that moment of tension between two answers.

The term abstract self-portrait is the reflection of how my mind works. I paint and portray what is going on in my head in an abstract way. The geometric abstraction comes forth from my translation of daily life, in which contradictions and connections are intertwined. Constantly in battle and in balance. This never-ending interaction is what forces me and what I have been experiencing all my life. A natural urge to be part of something, but simultaneously knowing that it’s not the answer. From that agitation, my obsessive perfectionism and an unrest in contradictions, I search for a peace of mind. However, I do not believe in one answer and therefore experience the moment in-between as sublime. That moment is like a love-hate relationship where there’s doubt, tension, contradiction and connection.

The abstract self-portrait is literally what I’m painting while searching for that moment and what I want the viewer to experience too. Various opposing answers can coexist and together they exceed thinking in black-and-white terms. Especially now (in the Coronacrisis) the essence of my work comes to light even more: in which humanity has never been so connected by appropriate distance. The opposites and connections in our daily life are now more visible and tangible than ever. The artwork tells a story of making choices, the experience of doubt, order vs chaos, freedom vs rules, pattern vs breakthrough, control vs letting go, etc.

I’m currently working on a new series, called Stumbling, about the interplay of straight versus spontaneous lines. I continue my research into the in-between experience and how I can communicate this with the viewer. I want the manual trajectory from start to finish, to be more visible on the painting itself. Therefore, I will use the process videos differently and share a lot the research on social media. Below you can see some photos from the process of the second painting in this series.

abstract self-portraits

abstract self-portraits

abstract self-portraits