Otto Piene (° 1928) Yves Klein (° 1928) Bernard Aubertin (°1927) Henk Peeters (°1925)
In the years 60-70 when I was at my “many experiments” period I also used fire but I didn’t know Otto Piene. What I had seen in my adolescent years of Yves Klein-with a large burner on canvas-made me probably unconsciously grabbing to fire in these experiments. But I am also thinking of the fire that I unwittingly caused; I was a little boy of 5. Though, by these experiments I had only the intention to be just different to become unique.
In the late 1970s I had only the possibilities to follow lessons at the Academy. There I was conscious we made always images how hard we had to battle. Maybe the emphasis on this image would give a deeper search. It had to be remarkable in any case.
By coincidence I discovered that you could also paint with fire. The flame would be my brush. This was unique. It was different to Yves Klein who burned. His way was to work space, he looked for universality and if blue. When later I could examine him I discovered a blue that even could be present in the human body. Was that it? Yves Klein died at the age of 34 in new heart attacks...
I knew I would myself deepening in this matter, spatially in another space, poetic maybe. Fire and poetry ... dammed It was a whole opportunity.
In silence I would search for that unique clash with fire. I could devise an own name in the contraction of image – imagine-and fumer ... "Fumagine". That fumagine is a plant disease with soot deposition on the leaves. For me it was a very good start. The hammer was out of the box. The sick world got his soot deposition.
I discovered that I could paint the skin of humans and could handle as a similar portrait – not evident "nor" a must. I felt an open world.
If later in 2005 I also still fail on the internet where we could find everything. I could always describe my work still as unique. Even my empty space- for me it is empty of irresponsibility - remained intact. My style was also departed from a very different position. But my heart bled already when I learned that "Yves" had died.
Searching on internet I found Otto Piene. He is an equally large master with fire. He fells on me and became one of my favourite artists – what a combination would it give that ... on the other hand taking all Schiele or Matisse or Van Dongen or Hals or the appropriation art ( long before) of Miss Sturtevant or... . It must be Incredible.
I even found a performance of Bernard Aubertin who burned books ( 2010). ( and clothes... and so on...) beautiful, but very different to my work.
I was also impressed by the burns and other works of Henk Peeters and I'll never forgot he just died April 13th 2013.
I saw some of the works of Otto ( 2013) – mister Piene will forgive me this distinction I think - and I knew he, too; plenty in the abstract period; had chosen for the addition of pigment and then the most spatial design a step towards the first "happening". I saw his sky art...into space area. ( Wonderful, but all those people around cut my breath.)
My quirky way of thinking about this large presence of abstraction remained so maintained. I would like to work in a space that our figurative enclosed in the finiteness of the canvas (or whatever). To hold fire in a small space.
" It is not to be limiting the dimensions, to influence the limits of space."
I knew by Yves, Bernard, Henk and Otto that I very often would stand in flames ... probably I had to limit space. My space had to be empty to fight against fire. But I saw the little tinny puffs of smoke around rising into the narrow space. I feel it almost if I could reach space as if with this hot air balloons.
I had a empty space on my work. The spectator could engage themselves in the world around. Another acclaim; might enjoy or not; but in any case would throw a different light on figuration and abstraction – the difference that Picasso did not like at all.
I love "Zero",it's real realism. Using things of live. Even by this fantastic artist Otto Piene. I know he had an exhibition right now in Singapore. A place for me precisely too far! But it is a reason why I think; why I would tell about this unique art also of frans frengen (° 1948) to capture a moment. Not with endless statements to prove that this work has also still a light – but really – it lives and that is proven by four of my biggest idols. 20 years of difference. Written on 20/01/2013 ( with a note for Henk June 24th). frans frengen.