Interpretations and Meaning

There are no definitive interpretations of my abstract paintings. Viewers are invited to complete the paintings with their own imaginations. Like a mirror for the mind, the complex shapes and colours suggest different imagery to different people. As a result of this philosophy, I have avoided naming most of my artwork.

Sometimes, however, giving a painting a title—and therefore an interpretive framework—feels unavoidable. The centre painting below, for example, is often regarded as an elegant woman in a flowing gown. It has also been seen as a representation of the Taj Mahal (the title of the painting Castles in the Sky is partially derived from the latter interpretation). Since the Taj Mahal is a tribute to an emperor’s deceased wife, I think both viewpoints compliment each other. I also wrote a musical theme for this painting (see video Castles in the Sky). I think the music adds another dimension to the painting, and yet another frame.

Sometimes I will name a painting when it feels like there is one central theme that unavoidably predominates. This was the case with my painting Tsunami. There is a very dark, dramatic, fiery tone to this piece, with a giant wave moving from left to right, surrounded by churning storms. The artwork was originally much taller, but I removed the top third of the canvas while I was still painting it, an extremely rare occurrence in my process. The original dimensions matched the proportions of ancient Chinese Shan Shui landscapes; in that painting tradition, the top quarter or third of the artwork is reserved as an expression of heaven. Although heaven is symbolically absent in Tsunami, no overarching philosophy is represented here. Rather, it is a depiction of the emotional perspective caused by tragedy; explanations invoking concepts of meaning and divine purpose no longer seem applicable or possible in the throws of overwhelming loss. This painting portrays unavoidable disaster: death, destruction, divorce, war, and natural cataclysms. 

Some people have commented that there is a charging elephant in the centre of the wave, another symbol of an unstoppable destructive force. I wrote a musical theme for Tsunami that can be heard in the video Paintings within Paintings III

The Great Wave by Hokusai, and Tsunami by Ron Matzov

Visual Jazz

First and foremost, abstract painting is improvisation to me: visual jazz, play, being absorbed in the moment, expressing directly. Painting is also my meditation: becoming quiet and still inside, following a feeling flow, letting it guide me…surrendering to the organic process of exploration and discovery. Like dreaming, grand narratives unfold in the absence of logical thought.

Visual jazz

State of the Art Frame

I couldn't find a framing style that suited my Shan Shui Series of paintings at a traditional framing shop. So I decided to research and develop my ideal framing style and 3D print it. The result:17th century meets 21st century.

The100% custom design below is actually a computer model that can be 3D printed and then hand-painted. The production is being handled by a company that supplies national museums in central Europe. 

Shan Shui Series concept art 

Luminous and Ethereal

Glowing colour: beautiful and haunting...colour taken to the absolute maximum point of intensity and saturation.

The soft, warm glow of neon. The otherworldly atmosphere of bioluminescent algae illuminating ocean waves. Filamentary clusters of lucent galaxies that are the largest observable structures in the universe. Incandescent Christmas lights under a blanket of snow. This is where my love of light begins.

I deal with actual and perceived luminosity in my work. Through various juxtapositions and playful contrasts, colour becomes light. I explore both the inherent luminosity of the colours themselves, as well as the character and qualities of light — the latter being an investigation normally reserved for realistic painting. 

Topographical Detail

The topography of abstract art can be difficult to infer from photographs. Colours and outlines tend to dominate in these head-on, fully-lit, flattened photos. When regarding a painting in person, one naturally approaches it from different angles, gleaning all of the intriguing surface details through the play of light and shadow.

In abstract acrylic painting we have the opportunity to explore different dimensions of paint: surface details, textures, patina, metallics, iridescents, and variations in height are a landscape for the eyes to enjoy.

#150, topographical detail

#151, topographical detail

Materials

I paint with acrylic paint because it is a novel medium, fully alive and overflowing with new possibilities. Being water-soluble, acrylics allow me to incorporate the dynamism of water into my art.

I paint on masonite: an exceptionally smooth, compressed wood substrate. I find the high-tech acrylic polymer emulsion benefits some form of grounding, and wood provides that; it brings the synthetic back down to earth. The luminous and ethereal aspects of my paintings are also balanced by the earthiness of wood.

The smoothness of the masonite enables me to create very fine details and delicate lines, giving my work a 'high-definition' quality.

The Universe

Many people comment that my painting 'Creation' (right) looks like the Cosmos. I tend to agree, especially when placed next to the emerging map of the universe, which appears to be composed of thread-like galactic superclusters (left).

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