Paintings, drawings, animations, graphical prints and sculptures are the outcome of my artistic work. For 25 years an intrinsic creative energy powers me to look, mark and remark on my existence. Prodding in the darkness from different angles I try to determine the shape of my being. In South Africa, where I spent a large part of my youth, I attended a technical high school where we were taught the skills of technical drawing. From the first moment I saw the cross section of some unknown machine part drawn out on paper I was gob smacked by the intense clear facts that the drawing revealed. After high school I joined the mining engineering faculty of the University of the Witwatersrand and spend some time in the dark gold mines of Johannesburg. One year after enrolling at the university I quit my studies, left Africa and left part of my life incomplete.
Old people, they say, connect to their childhood, slowly moving their existence to the extremities of their life line. Now somewhere in the middle of my lifeline I seemed to have found reason to reconnect to machines and spaces devoid of sunlight. In my notebook I jotted down the following words:
[inclusion, inner silence, achievement, expansion, brain stimulant, belonging, desertion, fulfilment, learning and teaching].
I feel that these words connect me to my personal and artistic growth. On canvas I paint technical and mechanical objects in empty spaces and I feel that these paintings also connect me to those words. But an artist must also test and prod other areas to confirm the fabric of their existence. These other areas, as I will develop in the next paragraphs, are external motivators to accelerate artistic growth.
In my day, after leaving art school, one would approach the galleries with smart portfolios or for those living in the Netherlands apply for the subsidies. If those fragile self ‐ reference fields dried up, you became an artist in isolation. In my final year at de Vrije kunst academie, the Hague I was involved with Gaidaro, a group of artists that aimed to move the attention away from the entertainment aspect of art towards a more direct and raw form.
So far I have identified 3 external areas that can confirm the existence of the artist, namely: [the art school], [the art market/subsidies] and [peer groups with a common artistic goal].
Other areas are [projects], [artists in residence], [international call for participation] and [social media].
Last April I presented my art works at the Kölner liste art fair. My goal: sure enough was to sell. I wanted someone to exchange their money for my artistic efforts. For someone to go home and call their friends: “I’ve just bought this amazing painting from K_Van, you must come by the house for cocktails.”
During a slack moment of the day I got out my notepad and drew out each area that [confirms me as an artist]-> and connected them with the words that connect me to my ->[artistic growth]. This resulted in a great spaghetti of lines across the page. Then I regrouped the words using the Bartle test of Gamer Psychology according to the keywords Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killer.
my personal and artistic growth
confirm the existence of the artist
|[the art school]
[the art market/subsidies]
[peer groups with a common artistic goal]
[artists in residence]
[international call for participation]
Achiever and Killer
After tallying up the result I came to the following:
- peer groups with a common artistic goal
- continue with education.
Resulting in: my artistic growth can be greatly increased by making or joining a peer group with a common artistic goal.
more to follow