CLUB – the American concept
One of the amazing things about California is lighting and nature. This is one of the reasons that artists flock to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Too create good art you need excellent lighting and great visual. A place that I discovered for lighting, color and landscapes in California is Half Moon Bay, a beautiful ocean cliff golf course between San Francisco and Palo Alto.
For a person who has never been to Half Moon Bay the landscape might look surreal, construed and strained. However, the painting is as close to what I saw and experienced at Half Moon Bay. Painting landscapes can be difficult because on the one hand you can end up in boring photorealism (dominating on Instagram) or on the other hand in kitschy impressionism (very popular with amateur painters). Therefore the cut out letters CLUB aim to bring something unexpected. Allow the viewer a glimpse into this privileged sport and world. You are an observer attracted to details, you see the larger picture, but also a moment. The color saturation, lighting, texture and contrast is breath taking. If you look at paintings of Albert Bierstadt you have the same tangling feeling. Is this for real? Did America look like this when an European painter arrived in the great American west?
Club is not only about a golf club. A club is social structure that evolves around sports and individualism. Individualism and sports are very American concepts. You are an individual competing against other individuals, working with others as a team for a common goal. Nonetheless in sports you are also competing against yourself and nature. Sometimes this can be easy as mastering a new technique (golf swing) or as difficult as learning a new sport from scratch like golf. This also happens in art you struggle to learn master painting and then want to do everything a new. This is a struggle against your own nature to paint in a predictable fashion. This fashion struggle can be a goldmine, but you have to try new things and new struggles. This struggle against nature sometimes takes the form of many gold rushes. Nature becomes the background, subject and object of the fierce competitive drive of humans. California had its share of gold rush stories. Starting from the 1849 gold rush, tinsel town movie business, up to today’s tech bubble California is all about the “shinny gold”. Gold glitters attracting many people. A great dreamer and a person that changed my life, Walt Disney after bankrupting his business in Kansas left for California.
Successful people want to emphasize themselves with gold and club. However, true gold is tested by the light and reflection. That reflection is what people have in their hearts when confronted with the light and landscape of California.