Theo Kleynhans


‘Everything is in constant flux and movement, nothing is abiding. Therefore, we cannot step twice into the same river. When I step into the river for the second time, neither I nor the river is the same’. -Heraclitus

My relationship with reality is complex. I am constantly mining my experience for emotional and visual data, because the primary thrust of my work is concerned with memory and loss. The mere fact that memory exists is a portent of loss - because we cannot remember everything that has happened to us.

Working with that as a given, I try to make paintings which has universal impact. Nostalgia and recollection are part and parcel of our identities the details might change but we have all had similar experiences - of being in love, left behind, sheltered, neglected, ecstatic or sad.

The text that I use in my work is gleaned principally from my own and other poetry. Their fragmentary nature underwrites the incomplete nature of memory. The printed page is sometimes used in its entirety and relevant phrases are highlighted whereas the rest of the words are relegated to pattern by crossing them out. This obliteration of words again refers to the memory process, which never gives us an entire narrative, but rather snapshots of happenings.

On a technical level the challenge in making this kind of work lies in choosing and mixing your visual metaphors. It is difficult to create images that are rendered not only in different media, but also in contrasting stylistic approaches whilst trying to maintain coherence and visual balance.

If I had to classify my work I would call it Episodic Painting, almost as if I filmed an event, unravelled the spool, cut out frames and stuck them together again. Thereby creating a sketchy storyline that the viewer must piece together to form a narrative.












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