My abstract paintings are,
before all, about colors, planes, textures, straight edged shapes, and
the inclusion of found objects. At first glance, they look like random
juxtaposition of small color fields units distinct of each other by
their uniqueness. Careful observation, however, reveals in them unity,
harmony, and balance, while
they play also the role of a powerful medium of mutual communication
between the work of art and the viewer. My goals, as an artist, are,
foremost, to create order and harmony in a seemingly chaotic or disjointed
composition and to foster feelings of hope, stability, happiness, and
security. All the elements are, therefore, skillfully combined to create
the envisioned effect.
It starts usually with one shape followed by others of different form,
color, and texture. I strive, at first, to cover this way the entire
canvas, while keeping in mind to incorporate new elements and ideas.
The interplay of creative impulses and choice of known formulas provide
continuity to a particular painting as related to others of the same
category. Subsequently each work exhibits familiar idioms combined with
innovative ideas stemming from a common creative pool. Unity is also
maintained or suggested through the use of textured surfaces made with
palettes knives or the frottis technique.
I, occasionally, manage to add momentum to my works through the use
of dripping and splashing. The idea is to break the monotony and, subsequently,
create more dynamism and vitality. My ultimate reward is witnessing
the metamorphosis of a mere application of colors and amalgam of disparate
objects on a stretched canvas into an exultation of movement and life.
The very fact that each project starts with no preconceived ideas or
figurative concerns makes room for a great deal of improvisation and
experimentation with all that can suggest of trials and errors. It is
almost like a jazz solo session where the musician begins with an idea
and exploits it to the extreme according to the amount of talent, skills,
and determination involved. The only difference is that I can willfully
break the spell, step back, make appropriate adjustments, or even start
over, until I am fully satisfied or completely out of ideas.
Seen from such an angle, Integrative Symbolism stands also as a quest
for perfection through exploration and risk taking. The modus operendi
is simple: elements are weighted and compared in their interconnectedness
and also as part of a whole. It happens so often that one unit or one
color plane prevent a successful outcome. The tour de force is sometimes
just to integrate the clashing elements into the picture without producing
a disharmonious effect.
If the planes, in their mainly square and rectangular shapes, suggest
mathematical order and strong structures, other elements, however, such
as colors, refer, to a certain extent, to the human dimension with its
references to the soul and our existence. Each found object, needless
to say, is nothing but a reminder of human presence in the universe
and of cultures as they gravitate between the future and the past.
Colors are arranged as panels set at different distance, thus creating
an illusion of depth with darker colors at the end and the brighter
ones in the front. The result is the interplay of kinetic planes receding
and moving forth depending of the audience’s degree of involvement
or participation in this joyful farandole of colors and shapes. At this
point, each collage plays the role of focus point preventing escape
or the jump into a trance like state.
I use collage as a means to enhance the telluric effect of my compositions.
This is to say that the colorist in me
is no less concerned with something deeper than mere appearance. This
creates a tension between aesthetic means used and the final objective.
The former helps to grab attention while the latter leads to contemplation,
humility, and submission vis-à-vis the compelling force of nature.
The iconography used is simple. Knotted string, meshed wires, and bizarre-looking
found metal pieces allows me to allude to universal symbols such as
spirals, zigzags, hour glass, crowns, triangle, and many others, whose
meanings are accessible to everyone, since there refer to general notions
of life, time, stability, love, infinity, etc.
Figurative objects and colors, used as symbols or mere decoration, have
this in common that they distract onlookers, preventing them to focus
on what is essential. At this point they are a mal nécessaire
(necessary evil) allowing a step forward in the direction of personal
This certainly explains my choice of specific objects, or if you like,
my preference for amorphous, strange looking, and non figurative metal
shapes. In addition to add to the aesthetic value of the composition
and the human presence, it stresses the purity and integrity of the
abstraction. This is to me an important dialectical stand because I
have seen so many beautiful paintings being wasted since the artist
could not resist the temptation to include into them figurative motifs,
or any other recognizable objects, in order to satisfy a lack of artistic
determination, aesthetic insights, or a need to please ill informed
am contemplating a series of works deprived of all unnecessary elements
while still remained becoming. The aim is not to reinvent the wheel
neither to create an array of pieces deriving from conceptual or poor
art, but rather to create something à la fois deep, simple, and
personal, meaning an artwork simultaneously universal and unique making
room for idiosyncrasy, theoretical beliefs, and ethnical characteristics
while rejecting déjà-vu type conceptual approach.
My occasional use of burlap and stitched together pieces of rag is more
about experiencing with different types of surface and textures as well
as drawing upon the connotation of humility and, subsequently, the tacit
symbolism suggested by the choice of such media. Even though the use
of burlap has recently become fashionable in contemporary art, crafts,
and decoration, it remains essentially associated with goods packaging
or cheaply available material useful mostly to the poor.
My drive and steadfastness, however, would amount to nothing if my work
does not reflect also my personality and cultural background. In order
words how to absorb all the available knowledge associated with art
while remaining original and producing influential work? Such concern,
I must confess, has nothing to do with personal pride but rather with
a morbid aversion for stultification and stagnation as well as commitment
to excellence. The question is: What do we go after primitivism? Where
do we go after L’Ecole de la Beauté? Are we condemned to
beat the bushes by echoing whatever is being promoted by the establishment
even if it means forsaking our own traditions and our own roots? Are
we forced to chase our own shadow while indulging in overweening arrogance?
Or is it time to head our boat to new direction?
Our only way out, I believe, is to join the universal art discourse
and forcefully claim our contributions, efforts, and tendencies as illustrated
in our visual artistic outputs. The goal is to acquire the necessary
expertise and confidence in order to gain and maintain our place in
the arena of global art scene.