"Our Souls Captured in the Electromagnetic field" - artist statement
The artist created this series using electricity (up to 30.000 Volts), a variety of different chemicals and painting mediums, ... . In order to use electricity as a painting medium the artist developed a new painting method that gave him the opportunity to actually compose the image and to paint with these chemicals and paint with 'lightning' (static electricity).
These paintings are part of a series of portraits entitled 'Our souls captured in the electromagnetic field'. But what is a that makes a portrait a good portrait? It seems that a lot of portrait artists want to reveal the soul, the character of the person they are portraying. Or at least something that goes deeper than just the surface of the subject. And what is this soul or this character of an individual other than a bunch of electromagnetic interactions in the brain of that individual? So whit this method the artist tries to reveal this deeper state inside every person. What is the most important thing that a portrait should grasp? Are our actions, that define us as u human beings, more than electromagnetic interactions? These are just some of the questions provoked by the artist. Further it can be said that whit the use of the electromagnetic force, the artist wanted to reveal a universal scream of humanity when feeling imprisoned. Or in other words are we imprisoned by these electromagnetic interactions, they seem to be all around us (cellphones, computers, cars etc.) and inside of us?
In short. Science tells us that our inner mechanism which results ultimately in our personality, character etc. is defined by electromagnetic interactions. In reaction to this the artist made sure that his portrait paintings where explicitly defined by the same thing, namely electromagnetic interactions.
The size of the images in this series are very small (8,25 x 10,8 cm). This is in conflict with the size of our 'big scale culture' that overwhelms us today. Our century is a century where nothing can be too big and it is exactly that attitude that the artist wants to put in question. Do we still have the guts and decency to enjoy the small as well? At the same time these images do not only represent the macroscopic level of our world. There is also place to let your mind dwell in the microscopic level of our universe, in some ways these images also represent the electromagnetic interactions between different atoms, synapses in the brain, veins in our body ...
Ps: Let it be clear that this is just an introduction in the concept behind the work as the artist saw it at the time of creation. This is not absolute, but just gives you a brief and short insight in the many thoughts and reasons the artist had for creating this series of artworks. At the end this is just one of the many interpretations possible. Feel free to share your own thoughts involving this series of works on his website! https://www.facebook.com/DriesKetels.Art