through the eyes of . . . / GEYER thomas (painting) & SWYSEN mark (light objects)
Playing with the poetry of light
Light is the essence of life and visual art. Without the energy of the sun reaching our planet in the form of photons, the entire food chain on our planet collapses. Without light, our eyes are blind.
Artists have taken advantage of this phenomenon throughout history and will continue to do so.
This presentation brings together 2 different artistic approaches: one on a flat surface, the other in 3 dimensions. Thomas Geyer uses the brightness of colours to draw the visitor's eye to certain parts of his otherwise dark paintings. Mark Swysen uses hidden light sources to draw the visitor's attention to the details of his installations: like moths to a lamp.
The aim is to appreciate both approaches on their own merits, while creating a balance in which they reinforce each other.
© based on a text by Mark Swysen, artist (Antwerp), September 2022
A biologist before completing his Masters in Art, Mark Swysen is concerned with human instincts and behaviours and their consequences for our fellow inhabitants on this planet. Swysen embraces Arthur Danto's credo that art is "an embodied sense", like "a waking dream to share with others". For Mark, the latter is the most important ingredient: plus the indefinable sauce of poetry, mysticism, humour, imbalance and unpredictability.
The artist enjoys the freedom to use any material, object, technology or phenomenon as an instrument. Due to their subcutaneous effect on the human brain, light, sound and movement are among his preferred media.
The works on display at Art BXL can be summarised under the title "The infamous career of the philosophical chimp"
The painter reveals to us a living space that can sometimes take the form of a villa hidden in the canopy, sometimes that of a hidden backyard. In contrast to Hitchcock's classic thriller, however, the focus is not on the people themselves, but on the traces they leave behind in nature. Sometimes we discover the imprint of their existence obviously, sometimes it is more obscure and can only be guessed at in a reflection of water. But there - there, human life is always.
His backyards are shelters and living environments, created for arriving and lingering. and linger. Between the romance of prefabricated buildings and garden scenery, we find ourselves in a quiet interface of rural and urban space. We are all alone in these places, but without being lonely, for they themselves are full of life.
Sometimes we open the window to a country house lying in a clearing in the woods, sometimes we hear the past laughter of the neighbour's children who were just having a playful romp in the courtyard of the high-rise building.
When we look at Thomas Geyer's works, it is as if we were leaning out of the window on a balmy summer evening, somewhere between sunset and twilight, and once again breathing in the exuberant atmosphere of the past day. The choice of its paradisiacal colours is also responsible for this: a romantic magenta and sunset orange is surrounded by sooty dark blues and forest greens, heralding the relaxed evening hours at the end of the day. In the midst of this dusky, hazy fade, there are bright reflections of light, sometimes in the form of a grey concrete, sometimes as a reflecting surface of glass. Shadowy and hidden, they pose the question of who is in focus here: Do the city buildings frame the natural idyll or does the canopy frame the backyard?
These mosaic-like, shimmering puzzle pieces answer the question itself: Our living spaces are not just one or the other. They have to be somewhat chaotic, somewhat free, for us to experience them authentically. It is the beauty of the intermingled worlds that make Geyer's sceneries feel at home.
© based on a text by Sonja Lucia Gatterwe, author (Leipzig), September 2022