Recently I watched an episode of ‘Wintergasten’ featuring Roy Sorensen. Roy Sorensen is a philosopher specialized in things that aren’t: holes, shadows, silence, absence. He asks himself questions like: “Can you see darkness?” or “Can you hear silence?”.
His answer is: “Yes, you can see darkness.”. Because seeing darkness is totally different from not seeing (blindness). Normally you see things because they reflect light. You see darkness because it doesn’t reflect light. This also applies to colors: you see all colours because of the amount of the light spectrum they reflect. But black is the execption: you see black because it doesn’t reflect light at all. Seeing can be defined as gathering information (Information Theory) and when you see nothing or black, this is also information, so also seeing. Everything is information.
Another aspect of Sorensen’s philosophy that relates to my paintings is the perception of holes. I paint spaces. Spaces are absences, nothings. My paintings deal with the nothingness, with the space, with the absence. But there are more absences that are important: the absence of humans and the absence of shadows. My paintings are an anthropology of the absence of humans, an anthropology of the result of human presence: architectural space as the absence of walls. Because of the absence of shadows, my paintings are virtual, mental spaces. Shadows add to the realism of virtual spaces, they make them more real. So not using shadows makes the spaces more abstract.
So can you paint nothing? We all know Malvich’s black square. That could be one answer to this question. In this image a nothingness is created. Creating an absence, a nothing, by painting colored forms that open up to create a void in the mind of the viewer, is another.