Friday, February 4, 2011

Address Change

Due to compatibility issues and wider possibilities at the competition, I have moved my blog to WordPress. You can continue following my posts at
Hope to see you there soon. Thanks!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Black Gold

The thought for this painting began a few months ago when the BP oil disaster was in full swing. Assigning various gods for recurring purposes that affect the quality of our lives is a lost tradition. Here is another one of my submissions to The Hall Of Gods, pending to be patented and endowed with a slot for receiving limitless financial gifts. Maybe that's what this series will be called.... and certainly what it needs.

This is The Good God Of  Petroleum Disasters - there certainly will be more to come - but I wrote it in French in the painting because it sounds better than in English. His crown is adorned by oil rigs, pumps and towers; he spits oil through the mouth that rains down into a polluted ocean, coated in brown oil slick. The horizon is obscured by a thick fog of petrochemical fumes. The image of the god is modeled after a small bronze sculpture of Roman origin that is in The Getty Villa in Malibu, CA.
The theory around it is similar to the explanations in the preceeding posts on this blog.

The collage part is paper on paper and the actual painting is a build-up of layers of gouache, watercolor, ink, acrylic paint, graphite, pastel, charcoal, wax and whatever else I can't think of anymore. Some areas have been rubbed with steelwool to partly reveal covered layers. I like the texture in close-up. The object is the proven trick of creating enough mystique and confusion around it, so that the Divinity of it just becomes a natural conclusion.
As always, feel free to click on the images if you like to see them larger. And again, generous donations are strongly encouraged.... gods are hungry for currency or precious metals and need to be appeased, or else....!

The Oil God   mixed media and collage on paper  11.5" X 26.5"   Chris De Dier

The Oil God - detail

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Who Needs Heaven?

“If a man needs a religion to conduct himself properly in this world, it is a sign that he has either a limited mind or a corrupt heart.” Ninon de l'Enclos (1620 - 1705)

This concise perspective leaves a lot uncovered about the problem of sordid human character finding refuge behind religion, but certainly continues to firmly hold its clear value to this day.

Below is a study for a painting that I am currently working on. It depicts the Holy Spirit who, after centuries of solitude in an empty Heaven, has finally committed sin, thus succumbing to the unattainable rigors of His own rules for allowance into Heaven. By doing so His white plumage turned a dark color and He is now abandoning Heaven just in time before digital obliteration prevents escape.

Out Of Heaven   mixed media and collage on paper   13" X 24"   Chris De Dier

Out Of Heaven - detail

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Creation

The left side of this work illustrates the the creation of death by the Wholy Spirit God.

     In the beginning, God created Heaven and Earth.
     The Earth was rugged and covered in darkness.
     And the Wholy Spirit of God hovered in the dark,
     And God said: "Let there be Death"; and with that, death was created.
     And God saw the death, and was pleased with it.

The right side is an interpretation of digital fragmentation of such information. Different components and impulses leading to the formation of a story, passed on by generation after generation, until finally written down and accepted as "truth". But in actuality it is nothing but a belief of what may happen or what it could look like. Both are man-made and take on a life of their own. They are ideas that are translated into words, then translated into images, then translated into digital pixels.It does not matter what it is because it only matters what we believe it is.

The Creation   mixed media and collage on paper   10.5" X 32"   Chris De Dier

The Creation detail

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Pattern

The expression "weaving a story" was totally unknown to me until about five years ago when I heard it used for the first time. I still think it is peculiar, but it serves my current artistic direction perfectly.
The Bible, being a collection of stories - and considering stories are woven - I use weaving patterns as the grid on which this series of work is founded.
The second layer in this collage represents fragmentations caused by the differing and contradicting interpretations of these stories by varied factions. They are scattered, broken up and in random order because they fail to make sense in the natural order of logic reasoning that is based on scientific fact. The robotic figure represents mankind, the human-centric dogma of the Christian faith and the entire theory of Intelligent Design.

The Fragmentation Of Intelligent Design II mixed media collage 22" X 30" Chris De Dier

The Fragmentation Of Intelligent Design III mixed media collage 22" X 30" Chris De Dier

Monday, September 13, 2010

Intelligent Design

When the concept of an idea takes on its own direction during the execution and creates an entirely different result, it’s a most satisfying development to me. For weeks I had been thinking about how best to transform a small mixed media painting into larger dimensions by adding a meaningful counterbalance of some sort, in an attempt to elevate an otherwise reasonable image into a more substantial art project. When the idea finally had developed in my mind, and I started tracing it out on paper, it turned into a self-contained work that is still relevant to the series of works that I am creating lately, yet in an entirely different movement of design.

This work represents the origin of the controversial concept of “Intelligent Design”. Whatever opinion one holds about it, this is the representation of how it started…. scattered impulses start to form structured unity. The relationship between the pieces is not clear yet and still disorganized, a ramble of incoherent transmitters. But there is the idea of the human creature forming. The viewer decides whether it continues to develop into belief or crumbles into rejected abandonment.

The human prototype that I used is a bone-setting mannequin, believed to be invented by Hieronymus Fabricius (1537-1619), Italy’s foremost surgeon in the late 16th Century who devised operations for tying arteries and correcting spinal deformities.

The Fragmentation Of Intelligent Design I mixed media collage 22" X 30" Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Holy Cow

The need of the primitive mind for supernatural help, support, guidance, etc. has fuelled human creativity throughout history and is one of the richest and most ancient sources for anthropological studies. Different cultures came up with their own individual interpretations about the origin and destiny of the Universe and of humankind. Even today, scientists have not assembled all the pieces of the puzzle yet, although with the help of phenomenal advances in technology during the last decades, they’re getting closer to a logical theory that is based on fact rather than fantasy. Where will that leave the Gods? Will there still be a place for them in our cultures? Will they still have any influence over our cultures? And how will changing beliefs shape the creative expressions of artists when those times arrive?
As this series of current artworks further develops, I suddenly realize how deep contemporary culture is ingrained in my/our way of thinking and how difficult it can be to break through the boundaries that limit our perceptions. In religious iconography for example, to stay within the subject: looking at depictions of Aztec or Mayan Gods, it takes an effort to understand the visual information that they provide. What we nowadays experience as alien, was accepted as very normal and clear to the people of that culture. How does one transfer the mind seeing the world as they did? Is it even possible?

Devine Bovine   mixed media on paper   9" X 8"   Chris De Dier
availabale from the artist. call for pricing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mortal Idol

This painting started with a laurel crown made of gold, displayed at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC. It probably was worn by a Roman Emperor with the title of Augustus meaning the elevated or divine one, somewhat less than a god but approaching divinity. It's a step lower than what was bestowed on Egyptian rulers, but I would be plenty happy with it already. Nevertheless, each direct descendant of a God that came to rule and/or convert the Earth, died just the same as all other ordinary creatures, no exceptions. What happened there?
As such, I placed a stylized adaptation of that beautiful and finely crafted laurel crown on a human skull, between the inscriptions God Is Dead, and There Is No God, loosely derived from the traditional British procalamation: The King is dead. Long live the King (which actually originated in France in 1422). The black background and crossed bones can be interpreted as symbolizing the collapse of a rich civilisation, freefalling into the Dark Ages; as a warning of the increasing fragility of our current lifestyles. There you have it.

God Is Dead   mixed media   10" X 8"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Bovine God

Popular belief - voluntary or enforced - decides the faith in and of individual gods. Through the ages, they've come and gone like so many human celebrities, albeit with a longer lifespan. Their religions share similar characteristics with languages in how they evolve, merge, split into different factions, adopt alien influences, eventually disappear into forgotten meaning and importance, etc.
Religious iconography is distinctively interesting and often quite creative. Ancient cultures in particular had fun with it. It has become a rather stagnant art in our time.
I have used imagery of such artifacts in some of my work, not in an attempt to make any particular statement, but to use the same creative origin in different variations. Bovine deities have held important positions in different cultures. Here is my own version of one... a divine decapitated bull's head hovers in a starred golden sky, bleeding liquid gold, filling a calm ocean below, thus creating a new world... as good as any other story.

On The First Night God Bled Gold   mixed media on paper   10" X 8"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Different View On A View

Same subject and basically same composition as the smaller painting in the preceding post directly below,... different treatment. In this larger format, I emphasized the formality and order of the landscape design and how its intelligently studied proportions manage to perfectly harmonize with nature. That is exactly why this view gained so much fame and continues to draw admiration through the centuries: great art is timeless.
This painting captures the landscape designer's intent by offereing a softer view than the smaller study provided.
The view is from the upstairs rooms at the Palais de Versailles.

The View   oil on canvas   30" X 40"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Civilized Garden

Even after more than 300 years since its conception, one can only admire the composed grand vista offered by the "backyard" of the Palais de Versailles.
At the time when it was designed and created, the immensity of the project was supposed to underscore the control that humankind held over nature and how harnessing wild forest into symmetry and order reflected the power of king and government. Seen under the vastness of a hot summer sky, however, it shows that nature still prevails.

Les Jardins de Versailles I   oil on panel   8" X 10"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. US$225.00 + $20.00 s/h

Monday, August 9, 2010

Opium Anyone?

Don't get excited... or nervous, depending on your inclination.  This is only announcing a painting of an immense field with poppies and a distant mountain range on the horizon. And as usual in my work, it's not as much about the subject as it is a study or composition of eroding forms and colors under heavy atmospheric conditions; another perfect example of what I mean by painting transitive blinks.

Poppy Fields   oil on canvas   36" X 36"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Biggest Loser

Blame it on the economy, I guess? This commissioned painting hung for almost 2 months in the lobby of a newly renovated office building in downtown Austin until it became clear that the invoice wasn't going to be paid. As many businesses and self-employed people remain in surival mode, it was no pleasant news that this long anticipated sale wasn't going to materialize. However, in the end it remains to be seen who lost the most. No doubt the painting will eventually find another happy home, but what will ever happen to that wall?

Pebbles, in its intended space, was created after consultation with the interior designer to harmonize
with the planned materials and furnishings. I heard it will be replaced with a plant. 

Pebbles   oil on canvas   60"x60"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Devil's Saddle

Montclus is a well-preserved medieval village in Provence in the valley of the river Ceze, about 150 km northwest of Marseille. The village is situated on a hilltop by the river and surounded by dense woods. Across the river starts a trail that leads up into the hills. It's a good hike to reach the edge of this cliff, the highest point in the area, that offers a great view. I liked the dense fog that caused a sense of mystery and a feeling of being transformed to another time.

Devil's Saddle   oil on canvas 48" X 48"   Chris De Dier
available from the artist. call for pricing.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mural, Mural On The Wall...

Not my first mural, but the debut in Austin, TX. This project consisted of painting the background for a sign at the entrance of a local architecture and design firm. I deliberately chose to keep the contrast low in order to allow the sign - a giant "hi" - to speak out prominently, rather than to compete with it for attention; and to subtly blend the freeform airy clouds into the sleek, elegant contemporary space.

View of the finished mural before installation of the sign.

Finished with sign.

My little helper Paolo looks on while I take a picture.