Contemplate- the drawing

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Looking at the print of Da Vinci’s “the last supper”, more than a decade ago in my grandma’s kitchen, was by far the most intriguing piece in our household. I remember spending hours and hours trying to copy this work. Even though I was not much interested in Christ or the subject matter, I wanted to be able to paint like that. Driven by the desire to perfect a master’s technique, I found myself in libraries looking endlessly at pictures of paintings. This desire later became an obsession and by high school had a reputation as an artist. Solitude helped me achieve this, but still, I was not interested in the painter but the paintings. My goal was still the same “perfect mastery of skill”. Paint like the old masters, but never leaving the boundaries of naturalism.

It is only when studying Fine Art that I actually stopped to realise that what I called art and aspired to was merely constrain.
Do you have any idea what happens when a “De Kooning” or a Picasso slaps you in the face? Totally “Guernica”. There I was, the man who tried to paint like Michelangelo and Da Vinci. My ideas threatened, but curious enough to research the vast scope of what art is.
Personal growth being inevitable, clinging to my old ideas, I explored…and after some time new ideas was born.

All this chaos and confusion came together and finally gave birth to a work entitled; Contemplate. A work that not only portray the artist’s struggle in achieving his goal, but also self-portraying his moment of reflect. It reflects the stride and struggles of the artist’s own inner, confusing life. Even though this is not a painting, it does capture a sense of what the artist wanted to achieve in terms of skill. As for the subject matter, it reads a little more complex. The figure sits on a pile of religious and philosophical books, head hung down, contemplating, questioning in total despair. Crown of thorns, intertwined with the vine, both symbolic of Christianity are set against a good/evil (light vs. dark) backdrop. Something that can also be picked up is a strong sense of dejection. Where, what, who, when, how and what am I doing here?, becomes the questions. It is these questions that fuels the curious mind, encourages to seek answers and challenges freethinking. Free thoughts that present new ideas and new artworks.

 

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