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Artist’s Statement

My paintings are not conceptual in the sense that I do not plan a painting out beforehand. Their concept is the act of painting itself. My paintings go through many layers of paint in a loose, gestural manner. I attack the surface with my medium, move paint around, erase it, over-paint it and remain open to valuable accidents and surprises that appear in its process. My paintings are a battle between raw freedom of painting and the conscious thought of trying to create a balance and structure in this chaos of shapes, color and line. With time the paintings create their own realities yet are still clearly a reflection of this world, my world.

The concept or, so-called “meaning” of my work, can be compared to the caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly. My paintings, which are reflections of my every day surroundings and experiences, go though metamorphoses as they are created. Each painting is a play with paint, color, form and line and involves different states of consciousness while in progress.

This process of painting serves as a metaphor for the stages of transformation. First, an image appears on the surface of the naked canvas. It is recognized and somewhat known, but will vanish and reappear after the painting goes through a deeper experience of the actual act of painting itself. An analogy could be The Alchemist’s story. He goes on a journey to find meaning. At the end of the journey, his life looks very similar to before he started but he has a deeper understanding of his purpose.

Once the image is set, it begins to have the capacity to draw the viewer in. The final image, the finished painting, offers a moment in time.  In contrast to the constant movement and changes of life, paintings make possible the impossible: the stoppage of time. There then hangs one instant: a quiet moment, caught, in the constant evolution of life in this world.

My drawings, photos and collages both stand alone as artworks in their right but also serve as research or foundations for my paintings.

 

© 2015 Nora van den Berg