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Rob De Oude
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Williamsburg

ARTIST STATEMENT: “...these works are dealing with a level of optical deception, while seeking to strike a sense of controlled balance. Moire effects that otherwise seemingly appear at random, are through mathematics manipulated and controlled to make patterned forms. The forms [shapes] that are created are illusional and not actually painted, but formed only by the patterned intersections of straight lines. Our brain recognizes and reads these intersections as points and connects them to finish the forms. Maybe not directly about oil, but certainly about a sense of control that seems to be lost in our modern day deceptive approach to many issues.” (6/29/2010 excerpt from email)


Hegel wrote along the line of: "The only thing we learn from history is that we don't learn anything from history". 
 Attempts then in the 20th century Western Modernist tradition to instill universal meaning and content into art seem to have failed. Attempts to do so these days then could merely be interpreted as the artist acting out some kind of role of artist, recreating within those high art and high hopes traditions from bygone, picking up and reusing sooted shards from the past for artistic archaeological examination. Within the Modernist Tradition, art showed it had failed its ultimate goal, i.e. the attempt, with ‘loaded brush in hand’, to influence the viewer and thus change a world's course of events. Art however could not prevent the extremism, totalitarianism, extermination and destruction of the 20th century. All that we then can be left with to pursue within art today, is to reflect on this failure and to realize that art has never possessed a transformative trait, and does not obtained the resonating qualities deemed necessary to influence mankind's course of events, and has thus may be been left to be optical. In continuing, or recreating, a situation of making art within a modernist tradition, one can only see this then as being manneristic, romantic, or maybe merely being some kind of a performance, where the artist is the actor with the persona of artist, or several artists simultaneously, and the artwork is the residual output of his endeavors; the props to his play. However, if being an actor, the artist would be able to shift more rapidly, while having reactionary conversations within himself, between different styles that portray his train of thought at that moment, along with digesting the multiplicity of informational offerings of this time. He can be more protean, thus, as opposed to the modernist tradition, establish a variety of work based on simultaneous diversity, being able to operate in whichever medium deemed necessary, whether it be within art's traditions or not, and could potentially end up on uncharted paths and untraveled creative avenues. As an artist in the 21st century, if still wishing, hoping, to regain the pursuit of idealistically steering towards a world's betterment through art, similar to the Western Modernist tradition, one could only seek to reevaluate and refocus on the circumstances of that time’s historical high and low points and the subsequent interactions between them. Find links between the past and the nowadays, and react subsequently. As like a pinball bouncing from one side to the other in a pinball machine of time, circumstance and consequence, removed but at the helm. With the customary bells, whistles and lights flickering... ~ RdO 


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