"The lolita´s represent innocence, defying the viewer with the strength of their youth, youth in our times is almost exclusively confronted with an empty sort of ambition within the economic system in which they are supposed to find a place for their future. Their imagination about life and how to express and experience it (may) exist only in their spare time which is already becoming less, virtually their entire education is set to prepare and to have a secure future.
About Alexander Smith,
The paintings by Alexander, by Frans van Heel.
The search for expressing and appointing the sense of being and human existence can be seen as the beginning of Alexanderâ€™s artistic development. This search, which started in 1997, was soon doomed to end up in a labyrinth of ideas and concepts. With a certain irony a new and dynamic development arose at the moment when he was able to unhook himself from this search. But to make this new development fit in the desired shape it was necessary to leave the current movements of modern art.
It was in this proces that Alexander started to realise that it wasn't so much the sense of concept which he wanted to show in his paintings. It was more the sharing of his admiration for the existing beauty around him that took his attention. As beauty was a matter that always fascinated him, he now was looking for a beauty which consisted only in its most pure form, existing only in and by it self. With this new insight he also found a connection to the conceptions of Zen-buddhistic art. The concept that beauty is not created by the artist but is revealed by adding or leaving out certain elements is greatly admired in zen-buddhistic art. Next to the Zen-buddhistic arts, Alexander has a great affinity to the old Dutch Masters who where specialized in painting landscapes with the famous Dutch skies.
This approach to beauty helped Alexander to find a more suitable expression for his own conception of a beauty. After making several studies in 2001 he arrived to a point where he was able to make some paintings in which he was coming to what he saw as an expression of pure beauty. The studies that I mentioned consist mostly out of landscapes which are characterized by a certain visual exuberance and romantic drama concerning the overwhelming beauty of nature. But already in these studies we see that Alexander is using the idea of revealing the beauty by letting us look at a extensiveness of an almost abstract landscape with impressive clouds and leaving out most of the distracting figurating elements.
In his following work, â€˜Conceptionsâ€™, we find that this method of leaving out the figurating elements is showing us an even more abstracting form. His paintings are becoming a sort of still lifes, short moments with just a few branches, a tree or some leaves in contrast with a blue, somewhat threatening clouded sky. All painted in a most delicate manner. The branches sometimes seem to be characterized in a deathly or wintry fashion by the absence of leaves, budds, flowers or fruit.Â
This suggest that there is a strong feeling of melancholy in some of his works. When we look at the â€˜studiesâ€™ and then at the â€˜Conceptionsâ€™, a striking difference reveals itself. As we look at the studies we see that the center of perspective is pointed to the horizon while the center of perspective in the â€˜Conceptionsâ€™ is moved to a higher point of view.Â
When we look at the way the paintings are made we see that Alexander uses a highly realistic and delicate way of painting details. The purpose here is to show nothing but what he is seeing himself. He doesnâ€™t want to add a certain emotion or impression by using a more expressive or impressionistic approach. It is not so much the technique or the expression of the artist what matters. Only the beauty in a serene silence and a minimum of distraction to the viewer should be illustrated by the artist in the most realistic way possible. The skills of the artist serve the purpose, to reveal a pure and serene beauty.
F. van Heel
MA cultural and historical sciences and close friend