Abstract Tapestry


Osvaldo Valdes


“Grammar, which knows how to control even kings.” — Molliere

Aristotle and Plato propose art as a type of mimesis capable only to represent nature; artistic inspiration (insight) as divine madness. Until the twentieth century, the artist in western culture is condemned to an infinity of reproductions. Talent, always based on hallucination and deception, is suspect. There are two claims that Socrates (Plato) supports this argument with, the first is that art can not provide us with truth: art is only an imitation of an imitation. Being twice removed from "truth", how can it reveal knowledge? The second case is that art can evoke emotions that allow for the irrational part of the soul to gain control rather than the rational. We later see this as Nietzcheʼs Dionysian Impulse.

My work is scaleless. Except for three dimensional objects subject to gravity, it lacks a preferred orientation. The work is asymmetrical. And, like a photograph, it does not have a boundary. It may be part of a larger, unseen whole. The work cannot be compared to anything in the natural world as it is not a depiction of anything a priori. As opposed to traditional, representational art which is often based on semantics — a story that camouflages an implicit politics (gender, ethnic, surrealist, cubist, etc.) — this work is based on the invention, development and application of the rules of syntax. It is the proposition of a grammar that propels it. As the most excessive passion can often be understood by the rules it breaks, the aesthetic content of the work resides partly in the rules of the game (conceptual), partly in the way the game is played (physical). Rules are like binding to erotic bondage: the more secure the restraint, the greater the pleasure. Aesthetic gratification lies to the extent limits are perverted, prohibitions are transgressed. The work is always the materialization of a concept; the logic, clarity or obscurity of an idea that is free of traditional mimesis.