241 Things

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241 Things

The art of painting is one of few domains in which the literal can completely coincide with the figurative.

This synthesis of the metaphorical and the factual is one of the unique components of Johan van Oord’s work. He perceives the painting as a container to place things in. No images of apples or landscapes, but painterly facts, such as circles that readily flow from the paintbrush comprised, of course, of a single colour. He reveres Magritte’s dictum that mystery is shrouded by facts. Just as Magritte, he abhors abstraction. And just as Magritte, he abhors the ‘artistic gesture’, the ‘sensitive key’, and the projection of emotions.

Facts are letters. The ambition lies in creating images that are letter and painting alike. That equally conjure image and language. Portraits of letters that murder the abstraction of the letter.

The letter that has released itself from the alphabet, that reveals the beauty of its newly acquired loneliness to the viewer.

Before being a painter of art, he is an architect/carpenter/house painter. Simply by constructing a design for the given space of the canvas – the container fits – and filling the design with paint using the craftsmanship and precision of a house painter. This is ‘craftwork’, in contrast to ‘artwork’, with the sole desire of creating fulfilment. The type of fulfilment that exists only within an artwork.

Perfection by filling full.