Artist's statement









I am a digital painter exploring the new medium of vector.
My painting developes in cycles from figurative to abstract and back to figurative. They are two poles of a magnet. Critics don’t like this but Picasso did it too so it can’t be totally wrong. To me a painting is the reflection of a human soul. Only if the soul is deep enough the painting will be deep enough. Of course the painter’s soul is in the painter’s blind spot and few collectors are able to look through the veil of time.

What interests me in vector painting is that vector is a balanced cooperation between the artist and the computer. Lines forms and colors are made by hand and behind the screen the computer ties them all to mathematical formulas known as Bezier curves. This gives them more simplicity more contrast and a higher resolution than can be achieved by hand. Colors are pure monochromes or very fine computer-calculated gradients. While there is hardly any art in vector yet, its amazing property of fixed resolution makes it popular in advertising.

‘Ceci est un oeuf’ (2015) expresses my initial dislike of vector. The hard lines, monochrome colors and perfect gradients seemed to limit the emotional palette to messages of pure happiness and joy famous from Matisse’s cut-outs or the brutal surrealistics of Daly. Still, vector is the only cooperation between the artist and the computer that offers a new language of form while leaving the artist in charge. To the left we have digital raster painting where the artist is fully in charge but forms are in no way different from a traditional painting whatever you do with them. To the right there is fractal painting which offers substantial renewal but the computer takes the lead. These images become impersonal and repetitive and in my view emotionally void. Compared to our own soul the soul of a machine is a very flimsy thing.

I have been trying to find ways to give vector some of the soft nuance and broader range of expression of raster. This seemed to work if I restrained colors to a minimum of black-and-white gradients and one monochrome color. Now with this clair obscur at last I am happy with vector - especially with the last works: Waiting, Diner, Thoughts, Rainy day, Woman. For as long as I'm happy with any development which is usually not very long.

Fortunately the joy is in the making not the selling. I am grateful for the recognition of three honors from the Museum of Computer Art (MOCA) and a Lorenzo award for digital painting at the Florence Biennale in 2015. Having met with misconception and accidental humiliation I have made an effort to promote the understanding of digital painting. Most importantly it is necessary to explain that for all honest digital art what you hang on the wall is and can only be, a print. There is a common misunderstanding that a print cannot be unique. It certainly can. ‘Digital Painting, explained and illustrated’ (2013-18) is now in the Public Domain and can be found at www.digitalpainting.be It is good to see that expertise is growing and digital painting is slowly maturing. I have no doubt that somewhere in the near future its buds will burst and bloom.

July 2018





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