The story of “The allegory of painting”

by : Pieter - 2022-05-18 - 355 views

The story of “The allegory of painting”
The first version is from 2018. Initially I did not know what the painting would be about. I just threw some blobs of paint at the canvas and tried to see what they meant. When I saw the beak of the bird, I made it stand out by darkening the space around it. I vaguely had the idea that there was a lady in the upper right corner of the painting, but had no idea what she was doing, although I had the impression she was “creating some kind of universe”, like a Greek goddess playing with our world or superior being from science fiction. The painting stayed in my studio for more than three years, and I gradually added details. The old and the young lady at the top, the superman/crusader in the middle and much more. Somehow, they were all staring at the void at the left of the painting as if they were expecting something, or they were guards protecting the lady.  Still, I had no clue what the painting was all about. Then one day in 2021 just as I had given up on the work, its meaning dawned upon me: the lady in the red dress was painting a world while she was protected from the void by the demons of her imagination. 

This is a work that is very dear to me. It is an example of what could be called “pareidolic painting”, a technique that I have developed and perfected over the years, but that has been around in my work ever since I began to paint. You start with a random visual stimulus by throwing some blobs of paint on the canvas and then you let the associative power of you cognition work out the meaning of what you see. The technique is related to notions such as Huizinga’s idea of the Homo Ludens, Rorschach’s inkblots test in psychology, the technique of ecriture automatique of the surrealists, and Daniel Dennett’s theories about dreaming. It is also an illustration of my concept of creativity as the goal-oriented organization of randomness. The essence of creativity is uncertainty.

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