Expectations and Confrontations: On Taking Risks in Art

“No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved. No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style. No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything.”

Oscar Wilde

1. FREEDOM

Lately I’ve been considering the merits of taking risks in art and what taking artistic risks means to me in the first place. As an artist I believe that I should be able to express whatever I want without restrictions, limitations or objections. That is to say, no imagery, topic or theme should be off the table. I want my art—regardless of the genre I’m working in—to be a vehicle through which I can freely explore emotions, imagery, ideas, philosophy, morality, spirituality, etc. Letting something or someone get in the way of my artistic expression is to diminish the quality of my work, because if I have to adhere to a set of rules that I don’t stand by, I’m not allowing myself to be authentic as an artist. By extension, I can’t be authentic as a person, either, because art is my highest and purest form of expression. So, when I make art I find it useful to be able to not give a shit about rules, conventions, opinions, political correctness, being offensive or being entertaining, as long as I know what I’m doing and, most importantly, why I’m doing it. But such freedom never comes without a price.

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An Ode To Paint

There are two types of art I wholeheartedly admire: the art of writing and the art of painting. I love how artists practicing these two disciplines fill blank canvasses with diverse forms of emotional creativity. Of course, there are other artists such as dancers and singers who actively use their bodies to convey art, which is just as admirable. However, for some reason, words and colors speak more to me than movement and sound.

Today, I would like to focus on painters and walk you through some of my favorite works by four of my cherished painters. I am by no means an art historian or expert, but merely an appreciator of art. Excuse my lack of jargon and knowledge, but please enjoy my awe.

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Hyperrealism in Rotterdam

In 2016 robot Sophia[2] made her first public appearance. The uncanny humanoid robot can detect and mimic a large range of emotions and expressions. After her first appearance she made many others, making her a popular robot around the globe. A lot of people are happy about her creation, seeing her as a helpful addition to the human population and a good direction into the future. However, others aren’t entirely sure about her existence in the world. Her realistic resemblance to humans, yet her robotic movements can create an unsettling feeling. Will she be better than us humans? And to what extent should we integrate technology into our lives? These were some of the questions that I was pondering as I was watching, with skepticism, a video of Jimmy Kimmel interviewing Sophia the Robot[3] on my laptop. And then, in a very coincidental way, a couple of months later, my eye caught the attention of a poster while I was walking through the city. It announced an exhibition called Hyperrealism Sculpture in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. As I was already quite intrigued with robot Sophia and her creepy resemblance to humans, I made sure to visit this exhibition and delve deeper into the topic of human cloning/robotics. Continue reading “Hyperrealism in Rotterdam”

As Seen on TV: The Bullet Journal

 

Do regular diaries and planners annoy you? Have you always wanted to design your own schedule? Do store-bought machine-made agendas feel useless to you? Do not look any further, because the solution is here! Introducing the bullet journal: notebook with dotted, numbered pages. Ready for you and your pen to draw up your schedule the way your heart desires to.

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By Unpopular Demand: a Review of Alfred Jodocus Kwak (1989)

Here it is: your hip, new, anime review. And yes, while Alfred Jodocus Kwak isn’t all that hip or new, it does technically qualify as an anime. There’s your little tidbit for the day.
This, among other facts, is part of the interesting history behind this show (which I will abbreviate to AJK for convenience’s sake) which not a lot of people are familiar with. Of course, a TV-show that was successful for a period in the Netherlands over 20 years ago isn’t expected to be all that en vogue anymore. But since AJK is such an exemplary piece of a unique TV-period, it would be a shame to see it fall into oblivion. That, and Alfred is absolutely adorable. Look at his little shawl! Continue reading “By Unpopular Demand: a Review of Alfred Jodocus Kwak (1989)”

Winter Chaos

In my daily life, I travel a lot by bike and by means of public transportation. Most of the time, travelling like this goes very smoothly – only lately, it seems like there are a few complications adding up simultaneously. For one, as another year is coming to an end, the days are continuing to get even shorter. It seems reasonable to expect people to see this coming, but this year I have once again been disappointed. There are still a lot of bikes without proper lighting, which creates complex situations. Besides that, Dutch train stations seem to be in a constant state of renovation, meaning that the normal, safe bicycle tracks are nonexistent. Bikers are forced to navigate their way on the pavement or on bus lanes. Also, the renovations cause quite some extra noise, and as a result muffle the relevant sounds of bicycle bells and approaching cars. Finally, an additional aspect of the changing seasons: because of the rain, indications on the road are less clear and travelers lose their peripheral vision because they are wearing ponchos and using unstable umbrellas. Continue reading “Winter Chaos”

Everybody’s Art

 

At one point or another, art class has been part of every child’s school curriculum. Many of us can remember drawing pictures, doing arts and crafts and showing the end result to our parents who were always proud of our creation. I loved these classes as a child and, as I got older, I took an art history class in my high school. Learning about art history is interesting; you learn about the development of different artistic movements and the impact that these have had on our society. Despite the fact that this was all three years ago, I really enjoyed these classes and can still remember a lot. Towards the end of my high school time I had a realization (or perhaps it was just something that I started to notice more and more): the art that I had been studying was mainly European or Western. I also started to see that whenever art was presented that was not Western it would be regarded as special, or out of what is ordinary. Continue reading “Everybody’s Art”