The artist created this image 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).
This painting is part of a series of portraits titled '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. In short. These paintings are defined by electromagnetic interactions just as the subjects of the paintings, namely human beings, are defined by electromagnetic interactions in the reality of there everyday lives.
What is the most important thing that a portrait should grasp? Are our actions, that define us as u human being, 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 us?
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 ... .
It's also important to understand the complexity and the exclusiveness of the technique that the artist used. For example: The esd-gun, used as a brush (essential for this type of result), costs a few thousands of euros at least, probably one of the most expensive single brushes ever used. Besides this, the high costs of the chemicals and other materials result in one of the most expensive and exclusive painting methods ever developed and used.
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 on this series on his website! www.DriesKetels.com
Or on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DriesKetels.Art