The 21st century: an old, yet a new world. MANIFEST to clarify my basic principles for this work.
When you start putting things into neat little rows, you’re collecting. I have been collecting all my life. Collecting leads to insights where a single work can’t take you. It outlines the path taken for the distance travelled. A path that you can’t see in advance, but which takes its form from a whole string of memories.
My paintings contain the things I have come across during my time. The works that cover the period from 1990 to 2016 are assembled and critically illustrated by the titles. The series is still being added to.
I am fascinated by the work of Goya, who uses his graphics and Black Paintings to express himself critically about his contemporaries, his recollections and testimonials of the war between Spain and France in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In them, I am able to draw parallels with my own time. And also about the 19th century mentality of intolerance. And today – 200 years later – there has been virtually no improvement in the human condition.
Wars are everywhere, flaring like spot fires across our planet. With gruesome consequences. As in biblical disasters, humans destroy everything around them, the world they live in, their fellow man, their very existence. You only have to collect images to substantiate this.
The installation of my paintings is based on this. Can people really change? What do we need for that to happen? How does empathy develop in mankind?
The collected images in HERINNERINGEN UIT DE 21E EEUW (Recollections from the 21st century) are many and can be found everywhere.
Prophetic predictions, testimonials of revenge, oppression, blindness, extreme greed, vanity, megalomania and dislocation, along with other phenomena, such as internationalisation and globalisation.
This is material from the 21st century in which I work. This is my time.
Painting is my medium, which is sometimes also the object. Given that art is transformation, the image is edited. It is the unreality of reality, poured into tolerable form. My technique is used to support it. The test is the creative medium, used in such a way that it does not totally dislocate legibility, but disintegrates into different gradations. Deliberately used, sometimes at the edge of the abstract. The medium is systematically used, but spontaneously written to preserve the emotions. The blueprint is inconceivable without computer design, while being linked to it. The contemporary aspect is also in there.
But it is always painting; a pictured made up of layers with content, form, colour, brushstrokes, all assembled in one.
© Gabriëlla Cleuren 12/11/2017