Unveiling ‘Perception'. The Artistic Journey of Robert Euwe. Embracing Human Subjectivity and Contrasting Perspectives Through Flowers and Marble.
an interview by Carmen Line Hust
In regards to your project Perception, what has inspired you to elaborate this project?
The inception of the project occurred in the midst of the pandemic's peak, approximately two years ago. As I found myself compelled to isolate and witness the world become increasingly divided by opinions and personal convictions, I began contemplating the concepts of human perception and subjectivity. Gradually, the abstract musings evolved into a concrete vision: art that shines a light on the coexistence of contrasting perspectives among individuals.
What has pushed your project forward, and how did you invent the concept to begin with?
As a result of my creative contemplations, "Perception" was brought to life—an art project comprising of a series of paintings featuring people who perceive the world in distinct ways, personified through an array of symbolic flowers.
Flowers served as a graceful medium to convey the delicate nature of human emotions. Each painting within the series symbolizes a specific sentiment, such as happiness, intensity, peace, or purity, embodying these feelings in human form. The project aims to evoke a sense of realization in viewers—that every human experience is unique and deeply personal. It underscores the notion that only through respect and consideration can we aspire to attain a mutual understanding.
Your project is depicted in both oil paintings and marble sculptures. How do you choose what materials to use and why?
Paintings and sculptures indeed offer contrasting experiences to the viewer, each with its own distinct characteristics. While paintings convey artistic expression through colors, textures, and brushstrokes on a two-dimensional canvas, sculptures hold a special allure with their tangible, three-dimensional presence within a physical space.
In some instances, a work of art may require the added dimension of sculpture in order to effectively communicate the desired emotion and provoke a stronger response. The viewer is given the opportunity to explore the artwork from various angles, appreciating its form, texture, and the interplay between light and shadow. This multi-dimensional engagement fosters a deeper connection and understanding of the artist's intent.
What is your message when depicting flowers in stone (marble)?
The message I'm striving to convey is not embedded within the material or medium I use. For me, the medium serves as a mere tool to effectively communicate the core message of my artwork; marble or oil paint, the medium itself does not inherently carry a message. The message solely resides in the conceptual idea of people perceiving the world through flowers, as I initially explained.
In this particular instance, I was captivated by the idea of creating a paradox—a contrast between the fragility associated with flowers and the solidity of marble. This intentional mismatch between material and subject matter stimulates curiosity.
I like this interaction
between the work and the viewer,
it engages people.
The interaction between the artwork and the viewer is indeed a crucial aspect of the creative process. While I create my work with a specific meaning in mind, I recognize that art is open to interpretation, and each viewer may bring their own personal stories and experiences to the piece.
However, in essence, the interaction between the viewer and the artwork extends beyond the realm of meaning alone. By creating a work that resonates aesthetically, I aim to create an immersive experience for the viewer—one that goes beyond intellectual understanding and taps into the realm of visceral response.
Do you work with a project-minded approach, or does the themes of your work evolve in a more dynamic way?
I work on one project at a time, dedicating my focus solely to a single theme throughout its entirety. From the very beginning, I establish the theme, and it remains unchanged as I progress with the project. While the works within the theme may evolve through different models, compositions, or mediums, the overarching theme and its meaning remain consistent.
Take, for instance, my current project titled "Perception." Initially, I started by creating several large oil paintings that fit within the thematic framework. However, as I delved deeper into the creative process, I sensed a need to add something more, something that would bring greater volume and depth to the overall concept. That's when I decided to introduce marble sculptures. This decision allowed the "Perception" idea to transcend the confines of two-dimensional artwork and venture into the realm of tangible, three-dimensional objects, culminating in an art form that is both tangible and fluid.
Are your works pre-thought or do they emerge on their own?
I infuse most of my creativity in the early stages of my creative process. It all begins with a feeling—an intuitive sense of colors, emotions, volume, composition, and the size of the artwork. My primary goal during this phase is to translate these feelings into a tangible image. This process often takes months as I shape and refine the ideas that emerge in my mind. Once I have constructed a clear mental picture of the artwork, it serves as the foundation for the subsequent photoshoot organized to bring these ideas to life.
At this stage, the process becomes highly structured. Any room for mistakes is minimal. Every detail is meticulously considered and executed to ensure the final outcome aligns with the initial creative vision.
For me, this approach to creating feels the most natural. These techniques provide me with the opportunity to effectively communicate the essence of my artistic vision. I believe this alignment stems from my personality traits—I am inherently perfectionistic, well-organized, and conscientious. These traits influence my artistic style, resulting in a meticulously planned and detailed approach that aims for realism and accuracy.
If your works are pre-thought, how do you choose your models? What do you believe is a key element in creating a good composition?
I have a strong inclination towards seeking out special faces that exude a particular feeling or emotion, aligning with the narrative I wish to convey through my artwork. When it comes to achieving a good composition, a key element for me is ensuring that the model feels completely at ease, able to move freely within the frame, and capable of expressing genuine and pure emotions. I have found that attempting to impose a predetermined body posture or composition rarely yields the desired outcome, as it lacks authenticity. Instead, I embrace a natural process that cannot be forced, allowing the shoot to unfold organically.