low polygon oil paintings

Art processing, writing

Low polygons are hot.

Nowadays you can DIY your own polygon art online. Google for ‘low polygon art generator’ and let the web turn any digital image into a techy triangulated image, select from 100 palettes or brew up some of your own colours, tweak the triangulation and before you know it you are ordering an online poster print of your very own polygon art.
I feel that I am a bit of an expert on the subject having 5 years experience making paintings of low polygon object. On my onepage website http://k-van.nl/ you can see my artistic development. (For full enjoyment of the site use a smartphone or a tablet so that you can swipe or pinch at the screen.)

New oil paintings of the low polygon.

Only recently have I gone for the large canvases 200 x 200 cm (almost 80 inches) stretched on aluminum frames.  With a larger canvas size I have also changed my painting approach. Now it is out of the box, out of the lines.

a journey to Chinese contemporary art

A dry-point
a jouney to chinese contemporary art

a journey to Chinese contemporary art

Do you want to know more about these prints? a dry point on telephone cards
YES, they are for sale and remarkably affordable.
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Willkommen bei der 11. BERLINER LISTE

exhibitions

Come and meet us at the BERLINER Liste from September 18th to 21st | Postbahnhof Berlin.
I will be presenting my art works together with Sofia Kapnissi (through the Gaidaro foundation).

If you needed an excuse to invigorate yourself, then come and find us in an adventurous art city trip.
The Berliner Liste will have 112 exhibitors from 24 countries and you will mingle with 10000 visitors, so there is plenty to see.

The opening is Official Opening, Sep 17th, 2014

Gaidaro

Summarizing the events in Harare

exhibitions, writing, Zimbabwe

object03

solar The airport  being the obvious place where airplanes land and take off, is also an important physical location where some serious thinking is done. It marks a moment when I project my self into the future, and on a returning journey I spend time reliving and summarizing the events during my travels. This time after my exhibition in Harare with rotating objects and drawings I tried to question myself with 6 key evaluation questions such as:
”What art processes were planned and what was actually put in place for the project?….”, but found the answers something short sighted and for the economist. So I page through notes and recall conversations.
The most remarkable moment of the exhibition would have to be that the audience  interacted with the artwork by means of a torch, light, solar panels and an electrical motor turning the objects. During the opening for example, people took their time to go from object to object and examine the reaction that the light had on the artworks. In fact what they were doing was examining the effects that the light had on the surface of the object, and this is precisely how I question and observe the small art works.  How does the light reflect, what texture does it reveal, what shadows does it cast, what tonal difference in the shadows tell me that the object is three dimensional and finally if I turn the beam of light to an other angle what happens to the image and why? This information I use as an artist to make painting or more sketches. But to come back to the opening, I felt that the audience was captivated, they talked about the objects, the mechanism, the show.

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‘So what comes first, the object or the drawing, or the painting?’, guests would ask.
None, I would answer. The exhibition shows the precise evolving process of an artist. The origins of the idea is so far and faint in the past that they no longer have any influence to the present physical form, be it the drawings, paintings or objects. By observing, unfolding and questioning these three forms,  I answer with new artworks, that in turn will be observed and questioned again forming a continuous evolving spiral. [action reaction]

‘What are they? What does it symbolize?’ Each person will see what it is, what it symbolizes and how much power it has. Option, a sculptor tells me how ”the bull” triggered his youth memories. One of the objects, a small bull (approximately 2cm high)  made of dark brown earthenware clay, glued on the inclination of a triangular piece of wood, spins in the light. ‘When I was living in the rural area,’ Option tells me with excitement, ‘with my parents and grandparents on a small farm, we had a big black bull. It was a kind of crazy bull and on some occasions the bull would escape from its pen.  We would always find the beast on top of a hill, feet locked like a mountain goat on the steep rocks and head pointing proudly up, nostrils flared and grunting at the far horizon.’  Later Option wrote in my guest book ”I like that BULL!!”

The airplane took me from Harare to Lusaka and in the early hours of the morning we landed in Dubai international airport where I would catch my connecting flight to Amsterdam. Having some time on my hands, a twenty dollar bill and a wish for a cup of coffee I set off to find one of the coffee chains. When the lady at the counter saw the dollar bill, she immediately said  she could not take it, ”It’s too old”.
‘Yeah but’, I protested, ‘I’ve been using dollar bills like this for weeks, dollars can’t get old; it’s money.’
The next place told me my money was too dirty, and they would also not accept it. This encounter put a whole new spin on money laundering. However this left me without a coffee, a worthless 20 dollar bill and I felt like a sitting duck, a target for unscrupulous bank CEOs. It made me link the arts and money, how some art was worth money and other art works as worthless as my dirty money. And yet for the artist, each art piece that is expressed in physical form is a step in the artist’s personal development and so his culture. At the next coffee place I ordered an expensive cappuccino from Harkaman hiding my old and dirty money until Florence proceeded to whizz the machines. Ha! My money was no longer old nor soiled, because Harkaman saw the agreement between himself, the cappuccino and me. [Back in the game].

speaker_connector
Bringing art works to Zimbabwe for an exhibition  is an exceptional process. Not so much the logistics which consists of making the art works look worthless in a messy suitcase, and thus avoid having to pay import taxes. But an exceptional reversal process as art flows out of the country not in. I have had three solo exhibitions in Harare starting in 1994, 2012 and now 2014 and each time I bring something, it surprises to the brink of ungraspable. Not because the work is indecipherable, rather there are hardly any international exhibitions let alone African art exchanges. In fact there is not much of an contemporary art interest or market amongst the local population, the players are few and the road to any form of success (economical or spiritual) is to Europe or North America. This causes a general unease in the arts, besides the education system is not strong enough to educate about contemporary African art. As the local artists tell me all the ‘important’ art has been sold over eagerly to collectors outside of Africa and what cultural documentation remains is hardly contemporary and is written by former colonists three decades ago. Needless to say there is great awareness amongst artists to educate their fellow man, they know, road is long.

moon northern hemisphere

moon southern hemisphere

In Zimbabwe the moon is upside down. After a few days in Harare you change your point of view, and some time later you see it like all people living in Zimbabwe, bright and surrounded by dozens of nebulae and other star clusters. The way I observed the art and the maker also changes with time. I have noticed that art is made in a different way. One way that European artists may start making their art work is from the art supplies and tools at hand (canvas, paint and brushes). In Zimbabwe I found that the artists starts from a different point. There is hardly any art material to work with.  Creative survivalist know the challenge ”How to open a can without a can opener”. Creative kids know what to do when there is no TV and they have gnawed through their boredom. So the starting point of the artist is from nothing, and that makes the work so very challenging. It is almost like a training, a school of thought, a style like minimalism, but then the ”starting from nothing” style. The Zimbabwean artist starts painting with nothing, then finds household paint, continues to paints mixing colours with offset printers ink, or starts with yellow and finding other colours in the form of plastic bottle tops, sweet wrappers or broken shoes. Or consider this simplification; an artist drawing a silhouette of a rabbit, in Africa they may draw the abstract forms from the space around the rabbit (from nothing), and not from the ears or eyes or fur. When I look at their work the opposite happens, I first see the bottle tops, the electronic print plates, the bicycle pedal and then as if by magic, I see the creation.

analyzing the inside shapes, or look at the outside shapes

analyzing the inside shapes, or look at the outside shapes

During last  three days in Harare I freed myself up from the exhibition to spend some time in the botanical gardens and to explore the clouds using a video camera. The clouds form low and rapid in the skies after eleven o’clock in the morning. By leaving the camera on the ground and pointing up towards the sky I recording five minutes at the time. Playing the video fast forward made me realize that the rolling motion of the clouds was similar to the the rotating objects. It is something I want to work with.

But what impact did your art work have?
In 1999 I left the USA after doing a collection of paintings on shadows of basket ballplayers and hotel paintings in Mexico. I thought they had little impact on any one but my self, but I was wrong, Kelsay Myers wrote in 2013:
“But this one looks like spirits,” I said, and it did. What I didn’t say was that the spirits made me want to write. Their shapes and colors haunted me. The sky captured my imagination.”

http://www.kelsayelizabethmyers.com/2013/02/24/an-emphasis-on-reality/

A N    E M P H A S I S   O N   R E A L I T Y

A N E M P H A S I S O N R E A L I T Y

next: 3rd Ruhr Biennial – Townshipwise different 2015 http://ruhrbiennale.de/

Opening this afternoon in Harare

exhibitions, writing

at the First Floor Gallery 17:30rotating object

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HIFA 2014 day 5

writing, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe has great clouds. Low flying puffs of vapour twisting in the sky. They reach high over the tree tops but are close enough for you to be in contact with them, like messengers from heaven. It is my belief that artists are influenced by their land. Fly over the Spanish landscape and you see the rugged canvas of the Spanish painter. The Dutch painter has the ordered lines. Of course I am generalizing, but a sky filled with endless blobs of beautiful clouds must have some impact on the people.clouds in Zimbabwe

HIFA 2014 day 5

In the HIFA green pavilion, reserved for the artists (as in musician artist?) we sat and compared football management with the arts market. All the Zimbabwean contemporary artists know someone personally that has exhibited at the Venice Art Biennale. Meaning that there are many Zimbabwean contemporary artists who have exhibited in Venice, or there are few contemporary Zimbabwean  artists that everyone knows. Being so close to the grand art market unsettles the  artists, as would happen if a hand full of kids would be sent to Rio to play in the world cup football. My position is detached from the art market, although I must confess, when living in Brussels, we were neighbours with Angel Vergara the artist who represented the French Community of Belgium at the 54th Venice Biennale. But when we spoke, it was never about art nor football.

 

HIFA 2014 day 3

Utsi Mutsi, writing, Zimbabwe

A month ago while preparing for a solo show in Harare, I was finishing off one of the sculptures. My chisel slipped off the wood and dug deep into my little finger. In the ER they told me I cut my tendon. The hospital staff on hearing I was an artist arranged the best hand and wrist surgeon in Holland to sew the two strands of tendon back together. The recovery will be long.

injured, cintiq digital drawing tabletMy 3d work clearly stopped, but with one hand I could still draw the Utsi Mutsies (that is what my son Mickey and I call these imaginary creations). I used a Cintiq digital drawing tablet drawing directly on the screen and so creating the prints for the show.

HIFA Day 3

In the morning I go to the first floor gallery,  known for its innovative programming, to hang up 2 rotating objects and 2 drawings. Yutaka Hirose and Yuki Kamiya come to visit the galley and Yutaka takes my photograph using a very large format camera for his 100s Zimbabwe project.

At 17:00 the show opens with a good crowd of people

detail of Terrence Musekiwa’s sculpture ‘fruit tree’

one-piece cold formed body featuring a black oxide finish

K_Van: one-piece cold formed body featuring a black oxide finish

Open Call for Proposals 2014

Beyond imagination, Not all efforts succeed.

In this particular proposal, we were asked to send in a YouTube video pitch. In a kind email explaining the selection process and the intensive process, my pitch is rejected,  but according to my YouTube click statistics, no one has watched this video since I put it on-line. No hard feelings but Ireland’s Biennial Limerick City International 2014 you are not playing a straight game.

Dear K_ Van,

Many thanks for your proposal(s) to participate in eva International 2014.
There has been an incredible response to this year’s open call with an extraordinary range of proposals from artists based in 96 countries worldwide. The selection process has been a very interesting and intensive process, identifying many artists who I would like to work with for eva International 2014 and also for future projects.

I regret to inform you that on this occasion your proposal(s) has not been selected for inclusion in eva International 2014. Due to the number of proposals it will not be possible to offer individual feedback, but I would like to let you know that the selection process has often not been about the quality or scope of the proposals but about the exhibition as a whole, so the final selection has been made on this basis rather than the quality of proposals.

Thank you for taking the time to prepare your proposal(s) and I would like to wish you every success with future projects.

Warm regards

Bassam
Bassam El Baroni
Curator

eva International 2014
Ireland’s Biennial
Limerick City

 

Presentation Polygone Mesh in Harare

writing, Zimbabwe

At 17:10 we started the presentation. In true Zimbabwean style I was introduced by a poet that told the modest gathering about my life and achievement. Mbiza Chrasha had taken the highlights out of my blog and CV and made a compelling story, stressing to the audience that education never stops for the persevering artist. Then it was my turn which I will present in point form.

Number and figures

We should level. From the art works that I make, I can not make a living. I work 20 hours as a social welfare worker and teach to make ends meet.  My income is spend on payments for food, housing, and health, little is left at the end of the month.

The exhibition and observations

For me an exhibition is an event where I can share my visions with others and give them something to think about , but foremost it is an event where I can confirm my own existence. The reactions from the audience is a mirror to see where I stand. It is almost like a laboratory experiment, knowing the question and testing the answers. Conditions have to be right for the experiment and I made fairly good preparations.

In the week that my exhibition was open, I noticed that only 5 people took the time to look at the works. Otherwise the First floor gallery was buzzing with creative people doing other things. What was going on? Was it too much like an office, lounge,  wrong setting?

Conclusion: I met many artists in the last few weeks, and in a  setting of the survival of the fittest, my work seemed only accessible to those who had trained themselves to look.

Older works

…photographs of my older works projected with the beamer….

1994 Harare, Zimbabwe, oil on canvas K_Van

1994 Harare, Zimbabwe, oil on canvas K_Van

New ways of working together and showing work

In 2008 Sofia Kapnissi(read more) and myself  organised the Mama’s arts exhibition.
We had been working together for years, with many different artists and we felt we should do something with textile art from the point of view of the artist. Through an open call for artists on the internet we collected many proposals and chose those works showing visual arts. This resulted in an outstanding exhibition. We brought together works and artists that were ready to be challenged and inspired by each other.

mama’s arts catalogue e-version mama's arts opening

note:
The exhibition was held in an old pharmacy and old butchery at the outskirts of The Hague.
The artists (from all over the world) provided the transportation of the art works. We made an e-catalogue that could be printed. We did not get funding, but spent $100 on promotional cards and $50 for food and drinks during the opening). It took us a year to set it up and follow through.

It is projects like these that set the right settings for an event where the artist can share visions with each other (others may follow).

My works 3D Polygone

for this part I refer you to my article straight-lines-and-curved-lines

Questions

what do the objects represent, why do you paint them?  The objects are physical, mass, weight, size and time. They are earthly and emotionless, they have nothing to say. This is different to my previous work like ”Jack leaves with thoughts of revenge”. But I enjoy the silence of the objects. It allows my mind to be quite and my emotions go into the way I apply the paints and the colours. Once they are finished I love to look at them, each time I walk past them the angle changes and the object changes. Even the morning or afternoon light makes the object seem to float more or  it seems to come out of the wall.

where can we get the software to make 3D drawings: Sketchup and Blender are open source packages

18:30, it was time for the presentation of the IIFF 2012 closing and awards ceremony at the Book Cafe, Samora Machel with free food and drinks. We closed shop and moved on.

I would like to thank all the people that attended the talk for their time and interest in my art and my thoughts. After the talk I received questions and compliments about the works. Especially Mama’s arts textile art triggered the people.

Saturday: the exhibition gets a new venue

exhibition in Harare

exhibitions, Zimbabwe

On Monday 26 November 2012, my new works will be on show in the www.firstfloorgalleryharare.com

If you are in Harare and would like to see my exhibition, send me a text message on 0776600683.
George Silundika ave 24 Mercury house from 10:30-17:00 or by appointment

The exhibition will run until the 1st of December 2012

K_Van

with many thanks to the Mondriaan Foundation for their support.https://i1.wp.com/shared.mondriaanfonds.nl/files/general/i_021/logo_mf_portal.jpg