©2002-05 robert foddering

 word images





francis bacon

aborigine art


existentialism and art

for my fine art degree dissertation i investigated 'existentialism and art'.

it's was an investigation into how a philosophy or mode of belief affects the process of creating art. can you make work that is of a philosophy?

you can read it here.

thought process

a few of my thoughts are strewn about the site, but i thought it might be worth focusing them in one place.

the thought process behind art i find as important, if not more so than the execution of the final piece. i keep sketchbooks so that i can work through an idea. this i equate to journey across land rather than getting on a plane and trying to get there directly -

'it is important to take the less direct route as you never know when you'll get lost and find something more interesting.'

art terrorism and a-team cabbage tanks

i heard a quote at art college that has stuck with me since. i have no idea who said it. it went along the lines of

"an artist must be like a guerilla terrorist and be able to use all their tools at their disposal to get the job done."

i prefer to think of this in a slightly less political stance with the tv series the a-team as an example:

'if you're locked in a cabbage factory surrounded by cabbages, whilst evil car salesmen are waiting with ak47's outside, you would obviously make a cabbage throwing tank. rather than trying to build a gun out of cabbages.'

what i'm trying to say is sometimes i have an idea for a piece of work and as painting is my first medium i try and make it fit. however it is obvious on reflection that the idea won't work in this medium and it should be expressed in another. i should use the medium best for the idea.

the figure

the figure has always interested me, it is so versatile and relevant to us all. it can be used to say whatever you want to say. is all art based on the figure? as it is created by a hand attached to a body. or am i missing the point. when will robots learn to paint?

photography also interests me as it captures precisely the dimensions and colours of light that comes through a lens. i would like to capture what the eye sees. is it possible to alter a photograph so it presents the world as the eye really does?

'what I say and what you hear are two different things'

i like the painter and sculptor alberto giacometti for this reason, his figures are not as a lens would represent them, but they are how the eye sees them. empirical observation.


francis bacons' thoughts on the process of painting also interests me. the element of chance in his work was extremely important, he was a gambler and i think it was living on the balance of winning or losing that was so important in his painting.

he asked his studio cleaner to throw a lump of paint at one of his canvases so it could be totally random and make his work into something that he could not. as even if he attempted to be random it would still turn out as a choice.

like bacon i believe there should be an element of chance in creating a work. somewhere for the work to grow, to be able to make a judgment with the brush in your hand is perhaps the most important element in the execution of a piece. if it is already preordained what is the point of creating it?.

is it this that separates art from craft ?

painting is dead said someone who's never painted

some art historians say painting is dead and bounce it around art schools, particularly where there are dedicated painting courses.

i find it funny that a medium that has been evolving since the dawn of man has suddenly died out in our life time. it could be (.....humour me here) that painting could evolve with technology as it always has done: from the camera obscura to the camera of degas time, to the digital age we are now entering.

so why will it not evolve with the new flexibility that is presented to an artist in these exciting times?


writing thoughts centers ideas.

ideas change but printed words don't.

words stay ideas fade away.

©2002-05 robert foddering