Rolf Vian

Rolf Vian was born in 1959 in Amsterdam, where he graduated in graphics at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 1984. For academic drawing assignments, he wiped black excess ink off a Chinese brush onto a separate sheet of paper. The shapes that resulted, gradually morphed into abstract compositions. Vian became intrigued by the mysterious beauty in bringing order to chaos, in fine tuning and playing with the hidden mathematics. His teachers didn’t espouse abstraction at the time, asking him to “do that at home”, thereby banning his dissident abstract exploration into anonymity. But the protective walls of his imprisonment offered him the freedom to experiment and, unimpeded by critics, he has continued for the last thirty years to make his black and whites in sketchbooks which he took with him on all his journeys. Soon, he will publish 53 of them in the book “Secret drawings”. Less secret is the public work he made simultaneously, shown and sold in numerous exhibitions. It shows Vian’s artistic growth over the years, diverting between realism, surrealism in more- and less narrative acrylic paintings. Everything in the universe is shaped by building blocks and so, the paintings are constructed with numerous tiny shapes, all varied. This particular element defines Vian’s recognizable style, showing his affinity for detail and presence of the human hand. Since January 2008, Vian runs the enterprise “Mooie Muren”, producing exclusive digital Wallpaper, as well as hand painted seamless wallpaper and murals.

Artist Statement

Art expresses the unspeakable through the use of light and sound. When it resonates inside us in the form of an experience, we do not need to draw upon the power of reason in order to know that it is uplifting. All we need is the memory of a time when we were still in harmony with our environment. To a greater or lesser extent, everybody still has such memory! After I started experimenting with abstract drawing, I recognised surrealist André Masson’s fascination in some of his “Automatic drawings”. That I am not alone in that fascination, confirmed that I found a vein of the unspeakable. I may be one of few, who doesn’t pursue originality. Even so; “my work resembles nothing”.

In my Art, there are no rules, nor limits in choice of subjects; in 2013 I made “F words”, a series of prints, each titled with a crucial word that starts with an F, like Fun, Food, Freedom and Fertility. Today I fuse the nature of “Secret drawings” with my public work in colour. Tomorrow I may comment on the news using Photoshop, or I may imitate Neanderthals, making stone carvings of celebrities, after images from the hacked “iCloud “ and later I may write a new Artist Statement.

Human society is like a patchwork quilt of paradoxes, with here and there a sparkle of light from an Artist or philosopher. The quilt suffocates the Fertility of Planet Earth with stress. Money and Art are illusions, they work as long as we believe in them; I can only make Art if I step out of the matrix, by working outside the establishment; I’m pleased to meet other like-minded artists, also free of competitive anxiety and united we reveal the “Real World”. If you understand my work, you can tell the future. If you can’t, you may be better off; who wants to know the future and see, that soon money will be worth nothing and Art everything?