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About Theo

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    Theo van Oostrom
  • Description
    Visual Artist

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    Melbourne, Australia
  • Interests
    Romantic realism in art

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  1. Add sculpture to that list, but remove architecture. Architecture, by its nature, is a design discipline. I understand Rand may have conceded that architecture was not art later in her life.
  2. So what is it that you need me to explain for you to understand? Are you expecting me to compile a list of paintings that qualify as objective art? Do you need me to analyse each one? Do you need me to show you examples of masterful stylisation? Do you need me to show you how recognisable subject can project meaning within a painting? I continue to point out how the nature of representational painting and abstract painting differ, but that clearly is not enough for you. None of the above is important to you when you want to hold onto a lie (like a priest), a lie that tries to make something into that which it is not! Ayn Rand has exposed that lie! In fact, that lie was exposed as self-evident long before Rand came along.
  3. I explained clearly that abstract art was aligned with decorative design - just because I left out some detail (surely I don't need to explain the design process here), does not make me a rationalist. I assume most people understand it at least in a basic way. Also, it is clear that representational painting is not decorative design in any way and assumed I didn't need to elaborate further, but I will if I have to. What part of what I wrote don't you understand? If a "creator" staples a tyre to a wall and calls it art, does not make it art. In fact, this subjectivist view would make it utterly impossible to answer any questions on art. "Anything goes" is not a valid understanding of anything, simply because you don't know the answer. Or, what I suspect is, you want to cling onto a falsehood - you want to believe abstract painting is art.
  4. In art, like philosophy, you won't get the "proof" you are looking for. This is not a science experiment! Validating knowledge on art requires first understanding the nature of the subject we are talking about and to do this it is crucial to answering questions such as; Why does man create or even need art? Since art is uniquely man-made, how does it relate to man as a conceptual being? Why recreate (stylise) reality? etc. What we are dealing with here are very broad abstractions and I believe Ayn Rand asked and answered these brilliantly. To fully understand these concepts requires tracing them back to references in reality. That is exactly why representational painting and abstract painting CAN NOT be retained within the same concept, art, simply because everything about the nature of both are totally different - they have absolutely nothing in common - in the way they are created and in the way a viewer responds to them. At best, abstract painting is decorative design. Recognising something for what it is or is not, does not make me a fascist. How?! How can a theme be conveyed without a subject? How can something contain subject matter and contain none at the same time? How can an artist stylise reality, without reference to reality? As I have explained in my previous post, every element that makes art possible has been removed in abstract painting. Empiricists hate and recoil from broad abstractions - it is all too much for them and they can only resort to cynical, snide comments. The only option for an empiricist is to turn to pure subjectivism to provide them with "answers", here is a perfect example: That was Jonathan's attempt to give abstract art some meaning!?
  5. Of course Jonathan, you must hate it every time I mention anything about, stylisation, subject matter and theme, as these are the essential ingredients that make up objective art - and which are totally ABSENT in abstract art! The term abstract art is a joke! Abstract implies there is something conceptual about it. Abstract art cannot even be perceptual, it can only convey sensations, much like decorative design. Compare a Vermeer next to a Pollock painting, there is no way they can be conceptually grouped into the same category of fine art just because they are both contained within a frame - one is art, one is not.
  6. Most artists are self-taught if they recognise in themselves that they have strong visual/spacial capabilities and then develop them further. It also depends on the individual and how they prefer to learn. Some people need to go to Uni to learn but you definitely don't have to as there is a lot of resources on art available.
  7. When you click on the thumbnail, it goes to a larger image.
  8. How I want to stylise a bouquet of flowers eliminates the boredom, but if I only had flowers in the painting without any other element to give it context, that would be boring to me.
  9. Neither is right or wrong - it depends on the intentions of the artist. However, from a cognitive point of view, the question arises, does the artist wish to project his/her subject matter with clarity or not. You can decide for yourself whether clarity of thought is right or wrong - I know my opinion on this.
  10. Thanks, Brant. Your criticisms are valid. There is a difficult balance between having an online gallery and marketing ie images that end up outside of my website can be traced back. Also, Google search do like words (text), so deleting titles may affect this.
  11. I sense ugly cynicism from you - and nothing intelligent to contribute!
  12. Jonathan, to address your painfully concrete-bound tiles example. Of course, you can see tiles, because the shapes are tiled. But they don’t represent tiles stylistically. There is a massive difference between textured shapes, colours that vaguely resemble tiles and representing tiles in a room, showing how the light reflects off the surface, how the colours change within different areas of the room showing bounce light, simply showing only the essential details that makeup tiles and not just every single detail etc. Your tiles example is equivalent to saying that this is a praying mantis:
  13. Firstly, Jonathan, you need to distinguish clearly in your mind the difference between the chosen subject matter and how an artist chooses to represent it. This clarity is needed to know what makes up an artwork and how it can project any given theme. There are many aspects that makes-up an artwork - but the 2 primaries are subject and stylisation. When I said a painting must contain at less two related entities in order to project a theme, I was obviously referring to subject matter. I should have made it clear that attributes of entities also contribute to a theme. I never said an artwork was not an artwork because it contained only one entity. I said that for an artwork to project a theme it must contain at least 2 related entities, very similar to concept formation. In regards to the image of the apple, YES it is a work of art. It has a reasonably good method of stylisation, but in regards to subject matter, it IS very limited. It is as if the apple has been isolated from anything else giving it any context. Simply compare that image to most early masters works which contain many related elements, which may even include an apple.
  14. Interestingly Peter, as a conceptual being, your first reaction was to try and find something concrete within the image to represent reality - try to give it some meaning.
  15. An emphatic NO, Jonathan. You have deliberately made them NOT look like tiles, and even if you did, that would not be enough. The image would still be on the most basic perceptual level. Any painted object must be given a context by adding at least one other recognisable entity that it can be related to, showing its significance of being included. The early Dutch painters included floor tiles in their artworks but these were not their primary choice of subject. To further illustrate my point here is a drawing by Glenn Keane Posted by Thorn. It demonstrates how relating entities and its attributes give meaning to an artwork. Also, I agree with Tony's description of it: Tony wrote: The minimalist styles in the drawings do suggest emotion or activity to the viewers, I agree. I quite like the one of the girl and its suggestion of her vivacity and movement. The drawing contains at least 2 related concretes to convey its subject matter allowing the viewer to recognise the artist's intention: pretty girl, her expression, flowing hair (movement/wind). The emotion it evokes, the movement it conveys, forms, contrast, the composition, all would amount to a ZERO without the recognisable subject matter. Now, back to Linda Mann's paintings. Here is a link to one of her paintings I like (however, still-lifes are generally not my favoured subject). The painting is well stylised and her craftsmanship is superb. The sunlit objects, forms, shine, texture, vibrant colours all convey a bold realism and a tangible view of the world. Below, I have created an "abstract painting" of her painting. My apologies Linda! I removed all the recognisable objects and kept only the attributes - colours, shapes, shade. Sure, you could learn all about colour theory and in regards to both images, you could say: The brightest and largest element is closest to the shadow making it more prominent. The eye is also drawn to the green element in contrast with the surrounding warm elements - but in Linda's painting these further enhance her chosen objects but in my "masterpiece" they only enhance the colour itself. There is no reference to objects which means the composition is lost (the viewing angle, the positional relation between entities). Form, light, texture are all lost - reality is completely lost and all you are left with is the unintelligible.