Hendrik Arie Baartman

Hendrik Arie Baartman
Karasura is not fighting anymore, Hendrik Arie Baartman, 2002
As a child magicians fascinated me and the magic acts. There was something about the illusions they created that captured my imagination. I want that same vivid sense of illusion to be central in my art work.

Today, all of my work creates the illusion of movement and three dimensionality. I achieve these effects by juxtaposing hard-edged color patterns that disrupt the normal process of vision. Some shapes of color may seem to advance and then recede and others appear to pulsate in waves. It is a passion of painstaking, semi-scientific approach to drawing based on the manipulation of optical devices, and which depends on subtle color gradations, systematic chromatic harmonics lines that are drawn by my steady hand

My work has been described as abstraction. To elaborate on that, the term geometric optical illusion abstraction is a better description and my color selection is an important part of the compositional impact, because of the incremental, harmonic gradations or hues, which intensifies the optical illusion of the three-dimensional effect. Further, shapes within, are systematically planned to fool the eye, leading into complex patterns of shapes that accentuate the entire concept to the eye and mind.

Being too appreciative of other geometric abstract artist's, I hope to address the obvious similarities with my master-fully-drawn digital art drawings. The comparison is simple: Some of us use cubes, circles, parallelograms, hexagons, and the limited range of easily- recognizable shapes that have been around since classical Greek and Egyptian antiquity. I did not invent all of the geometric shapes, but I employ the subtle juxtaposition of ordered, related forms, done in carefully-selected hues and tints, which communicate to the mind's eye, that intriguing optical illusion, which gives the viewer a distinct image, at once, and then, a second later, a directly opposite conception. The multiple possibilities will actually jump back and forth.

I would like to point out the fact that geometric permutations are infinite, and other geometric artists only broke the surface. Art goes on. New works emerge from new investigations by artists who pick up where past contributors left off. My works are with skillful hand-eye coordination, applying multiple layers of colors and shapes continually perfecting the bordered forms, until they pass the truest test, that of appearing straight to the eye. After my initial sketch on the screen, I do not use any pencils, rulers, straight edges, measurements, mathematics, brush, or any other instrument, affording a dense, even result which presents my image to the viewer, unencumbered by the distractions of ridges and layers. The incredible craftsmanship and inexorable, self-imposed standards of quality that allow the idea to jump off the screen into the viewer's mind, with as little interference as possible from technical necessities is being said about me.

The direction my future work is taking, I hope, is to further explore these successful techniques, and to consolidate an identity marked by vivid, colorful, captivating visual imagery, and optical illusions, which will intensify the playground for the viewers mind. I hope my work will stimulate and provoke a positive emotional response in the viewers mind just like the magicians did when I was a kid.

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