Opening of the fifth seal ~ El Greco

Opening of the fifth seal by El Greco



Art for me is about inspiration, wonder, spirituality. Art that I care for touches deeper layers, behind the surface.

What is reality, really?

In these deeper layers lies all that we hold dear.


Much art for me falls short in this respect (my own art not exempt). Often I can still appreciate the work for other reasons.

The art works that remain are very special to me. In these works it seems the artist was led by an inspiration almost beyond him/herself.

In my work I'm looking for the essential, the real. That which remains when you remove the concealing surface. I'm allergic to the corniness and the clean-polishing that many people try to paste over reality.

Flowers for example are beautiful, seems to be our collective opinion. But flowers are the sex organs of plants, and the sex organs of animals and humans are suddenly taboo... Also see the commotion around Robert Mapplethorpe, who photographed both. At the same time many people consider a `beautiful' female body -albeit with head, arms and legs hacked off!- to be art. This exceeds my understanding.

Frequently our western esthetics (based on classical Greek ideals) provoke in me revulsion and anger. I also dislike the hyping of things, and the endless advertising which engulfs us. The fascination with the outside seems to be central to our whole culture.

Contrary to this I'm most often touched by African and romanesque / gothic sculpture, and by playful, enwondering, devotional / spiritual or childlike images.

Also I'm touched by what I call `honest' realism. By this I mean a representation of a part of reality, with all experiental aspects, emotional and spiritual layers attached. In a Van Gogh I experience these layers, while photographs often remain a flat piece of paper (which can be of interest nonetheless).

What makes Rembrandt's `the Jewish bride' so special to me are the mutual feelings of the portrayed, which to my eyes have been painted along.


the Jewish bride, Rembrandt

the Jewish bride by Rembrandt

Unexpected materials, unexpectedly applied, help me to reach deeper layers. During execution I let most things simply happen, as long as I feel a `deeper' stream. Most works originate like this, in several runs, mostly taking months, and regularly years.

In the end I feel that we humans are too limited to really understand even the smallest part of reality. One could call this the postmodern uncertainty principle. This postmodernity is strongly present in my work. Except for one thing. Postmodernisme is the art of relativization. I prefer to reach back to more `primitive' traditions like the African and the medieval, to stay close to the inspiration which being an artist I hold so dear.

Having read to here, you are likely to be interested also in my visual art blog, on art from a personal and philosophical perspective. An extensive paper on philosophy can be found on my math & science & philosophy blog.



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Images and texts © Franka Waaldijk 1982-2019, unless otherwise indicated. If properly attributed, sharing on social media (including websites and blogs) is permitted for personal non-commercial non-political purposes. Click for privacy policy.

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