Given that Malevich thought of abstraction as non-decorative, and his geometric shapes as meditative portals to a metaphysical world, I aspire to depict scenarios from that other world, beyond those doorways, windows and portals. So, my pictures also refuse decoration and are metaphysical destinations visually realized.
Similarly, Kandinsky wrote extensively about conjuring one’s “inner world” in pursuit of “the spiritual in art” and it has long been thought that access to our collective consciousness comes from one’s subconscious.
As a visual artist in the digital era, I feel compelled not only to pursue advances in science and technology but also to tune in with the swirl of contemporary art’s sweeping engulfment and recycling of concerns ranging from philosophy, social commentary and political satire to applied anthropology and humorous absurdity. It is essential to become aware of art’s incessant appetite for expansion, with its all-inclusive array of new mediums and modi operandi.
However, after years of examining alternative approaches, I find nothing as exhilarating and challenging as transforming, with the most primitive of means, a blank, two-dimensional surface into a virtual portal to another dimension where unconscious impulses construct otherworldly microcosms. In a chaotic and precarious world, ruled by greed and violence but tempered by hope and determination, any good abstraction becomes metaphorical. Painting intuitively enables this to occur automatically. For some, painting is dead. For me, painting is a magic ticket to a wild ride.
I believe that great art is a human phenomenon, which both celebrates and laments the impossibility of total knowledge. In painting I find ways to convey this through channeling impulses without cognitive interference.
As with automatism, my marks made spontaneously guide the process to the finishing point, which comes from a certain feeling of completion that remains enigmatic to me, even after many years of making these pictures. I make them as an essential compulsion.
Richard Heinsohn 2018