Tag: #culture

Interview with Robert Vanderhorst – Surrealist Painter

Robert Vanderhorst’s creativity propels us to squint and examine the original or the rational with intention. At that point, you discover the conflict, the unacceptable, the unpleasant or the hidden desire. The imagery gushes over, the psyche is liberated, and the visual stimulus unravels the nuances of our ideas and rules.  He is adept at bringing together various mental pictures into a fusion of tenacious conventions, compromised perceptions, and wavering imaginations. His capability to point out that impressions, symbols, and patterns have unrealized possibilities, rattles the viewer. Although he deliberately composes the uncertainties, the freedom of thought, choice and the inclination of progress orbit symbolically and eminently in his artwork.

This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?
Lost – By Robert Vanderhorst – This painting explores the concept of choice. The choices we’re presented, the ones we make, the ones we don’t and the ones that are made for us. Through these choices, we can either find our way or we can be ‘LOST. Two divers, who know each other from past adventures, find themselves in an unlikely environment swimming down an empty country road next to a farmer’s field. The scenery is bleak and grey with the only colour being a hint of silvery purple on the distant tree branches. The corn field next to the road had been long since been hacked down. Snow fills the furrows and the remaining bleached grasses at the roadside crackle as the wind shakes off thin shards of ice. A light snow is falling. One of the divers notices a series of repetitive rectangular shapes running along the tree line and begins heading across the field towards them. A set of doorways come into focus through the cold mist. The other diver stops, hovering above the dirt road. He’s confronted by a foreboding black carriage with two harnessed horses standing before him, motionless. The diver stares directly ahead and is transfixed by the stars in the universe that envelopes the darkness of the horse’s head. Where am I he wonders? What direction should I go?

 

Fate's Passage Robert Vanderhorst
Fate’s Passage Robert Vanderhorst – The scene takes place in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. At the end of the light dappled gravel path is the Museum of Natural History. The ‘Museum’ is on this side of the doorway, not through it. The mother and her young son are going out through ’Fate’s Passage’. As she exits, she slowly becomes the space around her. The man standing at the doorway is the museum’s greeter. The astronaut has recently arrived, confused but intrigued. Near the exit, the shadow of a stooped Churchill leans heavily on his cane and the grey figure of an arrogant Napoleon standing on the balcony both suggest that they been guests of the museum for quite some time. This ‘Museum’ is a spectre of our future. Last thing I remember, I was Running for the door I had to find the passage back To the place I was before “Relax, ” said the night man, “We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, But you can never leave! ” Hotel California – The Eagles

Jupilings: Tell us about yourself and how you got into art-

RV: My talent comes through my father’s side of the family. He was an artist/graphic artist in Holland, and he continued that profession after coming to Canada post-WWII. Once I understood that art was my passion, my career path was set. Seeing Dali and Magritte’s work for the first time cemented my love for surrealism.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part One by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The fundamental principle in your creations-

RV: Exploration and mystery. Keep everyone thinking and guessing.

Jupilings: What is your perspective on life-

RV: Life is short. Be kind and generous, work hard and stay true to your passion, play when you can, travel and experience life as much as possible and keep your sense of humour intact.

The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst
The Immigrant Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What do you sell in your art-

RV: To think outside the box.

VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst
VIEW FROM THE GALLERY, Part Two by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What motivates you to create, is it an emotional state, philosophy of life, politics or advocacy- 

RV: A desire to create realistic imagery that engages, asks questions and searches for answers where the answers ask more questions.

Jupilings: What is your favourite subject to illustrate-

RV: Time and space.

MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst
MICOMICON by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What does “confusion” mean to you? Also, what about “Normality”-

RV: I’m most fond of one of my image titles, ‘And You Thought You Were Normal.’ Says what I need to about confusion and what we perceive as normal.

Jupilings: What does women empowerment mean to you-

RV: Equality.

THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst
THE AMERICANIZATION OF GUSTAVE’S PARIS by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What are your tips about building a brand name as an artist-

RV: Develop a unique personal style and stay true to your art. Work your ass off, don’t compromise, network and promote using new and old technologies as much as possible.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt-

RV: Ignore it. Believe in yourself and what you’re trying to accomplish and ignore anyone who tells you it can’t be done.

Magritte's Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst
Magritte’s Dark Angel By Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: The disruptive blockchain technology is addressing the problems of transparency and authenticity for artists; it will increase art sales, democratize art investment, and last but not least allow artists to be fairly paid.  What are your thoughts about the blockchain technology especially in support of art? Would you consider using the blockchain technology platform to reach global art enthusiasts? What are the problems in your industry do you want these platforms to solve?

RV: I am not versed in this platform and at this stage not particularly interested in another tech learning curve. Everyone should be paid fairly and on time, artists, in particular, considering they are often taken for granted and put at the bottom of the list. If this tech addresses the issues you’ve stated above effectively, then I’m all for it.

Jupilings: What superpower you would like to have ? and why- 

RV: I’m happy as is.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the lead actor- 

RV: I was a Zombie in a George A. Romero film, and that was perfect for me. Don’t need to be a lead.

THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE SENTINEL by Robert Vanderhorst

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

RV: Life is complicated. Keep your sense of humour and try not to be an ass.

In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
In the Absence of Light Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
COUNTERVAIL by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
THE YACHT CLUB by Robert Vanderhorst
ROBERT VANDERHORST
ROBERT VANDERHORST

 

Images: Lost & Fate Passage courtesy of Robert Vanderhorst, other images from Saatchi Art Gallery.

Branding – How to build your tribe?

 

One of the objectives of branding in postmodernism is essentially getting through to individuals or groups to join your utopia! Is about the certainty of one’s worldview and the paradox of interpretations that validates the brand’s mindset such as courage, being active, cultured, cosmopolitan, daring,… . Basically, creating an echo chamber of motives and behaviours that embrace the attitudes of individuals and ensures support.

Nike embodies the significant characteristics of postmodern branding by juxtaposing essential and ephemeral social experiences throughout their branding efforts. From their logo depicting motion and speed to their inspiring lifestyle, Nike explores the complexity and real challenges of our world at the same time the real basis of motivation, passion, and empowerment. Their diverse and connecting social media posts champion the creation of tribes that identify with its way of life and play an instrumental role to promote the brand. Their stories tap into the essential feelings, the interplay of oppositions and realities that propel us to be a role model, to have that “can do attitude” regardless of the gender, giving hope and saving a child “from the streets to the league”.

Nike: A sunset is not a stop sign.
Nike: A sunset is not a stop sign.
Nike: It's not always sunshine and sand. #justdoit
Nike: It’s not always sunshine and sand. #justdoit
Nike : If you don't take risks, you'll always have regret. #justdoit
Nike : If you don’t take risks, you’ll always have regret. #justdoit

The postmodern culture of connecting with your tribe in personal branding is also setting side by side different aspects of our self-image and opposing views. Fragmenting our narratives, documenting extremely realistic images, sharing contents that support the complexity of ourselves is appreciated by many.  Transforming our opinions and beliefs offline and online, into what we consume, wear or undertake should be an acknowledgment of contradictions that make us human.

Emma Watson- Ready for anything after @SheFighter training with Lina Khalifeh. She opened the first self defence studio for women in the Middle East. I’ll be chatting with her and 8 other activists about challenging gender stereotypes at @OneYoungWorld Ottawa later today.
Emma Watson- Ready for anything after @SheFighter training with Lina Khalifeh. She opened the first self defense studio for women in the Middle East. I’ll be chatting with her and 8 other activists about challenging gender stereotypes at @OneYoungWorld Ottawa later today.

Forming a loyal postmodern tribe or a community demands the understanding that diversity, differences and similarities are in a state of flow. For that reason, plug in to identify trends and shifts from passing ideas, harness your capabilities to help others, tune in to your supporters to help you grow, take risks to make an impact and be conscious of the fluidity of ideas and our ways of life.

 

Featured image is work of art by : JR –  The artist exhibits freely in the streets of the world, catching the attention of people who are not typical museum visitors. As he remains anonymous and doesn’t explain his huge full-frame portraits of people making faces, JR leaves the space empty for an encounter between the subject/protagonist and the passer-by/interpreter. That is what JR’s work is about, raising questions…

Digital Artist & Blockchain Technology

 

Art and culture are credited for our communities wellbeing, education and enlightening our emotional world. Various types of political statements, beliefs or social values have been produced and communicated through Art, Music or Literature by struggling artists and independent content creators of all kinds. Although, the digital revolution has reshaped the Art and Media industries by introducing different ways of production, distribution and enabling reasonably priced promotional campaigns, still the technology has its flaws.  For many artists and content creators working with brick-and-mortar institutions, streaming or other social web-based platforms is a gruelling route. Why? simply, because of the unfair treatment by the powerful intermediaries as they offer insignificant royalty fees, commissions or payments.

Ipso-facto, keeping the torch of artistry lit, requires transparency and incentive.  So enter blockchain technology. Progression from the age of information to age of value, the blockchain technology serves the two essential elements for support and creation of art. How? Well, the simple idea behind the technology is that information or anything of value such as music, art, money, IP, deeds,… can be securely stored and relocated on a expansive global distributed ledger or database, run on numerous machines. The principle behind blockchain is to fulfill common needs by establishing trust through mass collaboration and clever code.

The transparency factor is about the provenance and the authenticity of the art of all kinds. A well documented provenance confirms that the piece is authentic, not stolen and the history of the ownership.

The application of blockchain technology for verification and ownership of physical art has been employed by number of companies such as Verisart in Los Angeles, Tagsmart in London and Ascribe in Berlin. They provide certificates of authenticity and provenance records.

The concept of ownership and provenance can be used for digital art. Once the art has a story together with the element of scarcity, it becomes collectible and eventually adds financial value. Beatriz Ramos, a Venezuelan artist and CEO of DADA.nyc , has created decentralized digital art marketplace on the blockchain offering the transparency factor along with a social network where artists speak to each other through drawings.

The incentive factor allows the ethical and fair payment to the artist. The common good practiced at the very best as art lovers reach their “high” from the ownership and have fulfilled their moral imperative by supporting the artist fairly and directly. At the same time, the stimulus is significant for the artists to be in charge of their creative work and gain from their magic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jen Mann – Relationships & Emotions

Jen Mann is a Canadian artist who explores how relationships form and develop. She delves into “self “concept, the realization of being a separate entity and how our shared experiences whether in the form of harmony or conflict, condition our ways of life.

Fireworks by Jen Mann
Fireworks by Jen Mann

Her compositions manifest the prevalent social trends in digital narratives with incredible hues. The unnatural colours that embody her work relate to her storylines and formulate into strong emotions.

PLZ
PLZ ❤ Me – Jen MannJen Mann

She tackles the existential questions by taking a satirical, intellectual and honest approach to our conventional values.

Emoji - Jen Mann
Emoji – Jen Mann
Venus - Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Venus – Men are from Mars Women are from Venus
Wet Dreams - Jen Mann
Wet Dreams – Jen Mann

The concept of real or constructed self identity is portrayed in her creations to make us aware of our cultural attitude towards individualism. She is her own muse and captures her identity in different conditions by being conscious of her interrelationships with self, others and her environment.

I don't feel blue, I feel delft blue - Jen Mann
I don’t feel blue, I feel delft blue – Jen Mann

 

Single Tear - Jen Mann
Single Tear – Jen Mann
The Facade - Jen Mann
The Facade – Jen Mann
The side I don't see - Jen Mann
The side I don’t see – Jen Mann

 

Jen Mann’s contact: http://www.jenmann.com/info