The Drawers - Victor Klassen   Commentary written by Julie Oakes

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Ethnic Convergence

Pure abstraction is untainted by direct references to the physical world although it can provoke associations with elements from our corporeal existence. It is a product of the mind and because it is less concerned with the material world - although tied by the medium to the art world - it grants a picture of the make-up of consciousness. Man is aware of himself as an individual identity and yet where he places himself, the extreme 'I', is more a sense of belief or an idea than a realized concept. And thus, abstraction embodies mind, wherein the spirit is housed. Victor Klassen presents a picture of the interlacing thoughts and spaces between ( as in 'spaced out') His work lends an intricacy that supports the dexterity of the mind as the eye travels along the colorful ropy highways, back into the depths of space and even now and again flying off the page, only to be drawn back into the maze with an invitation to consider visual phenomena, a product of the mind.

The richness of colors parallels the fabric of a life that has integrated cultures and religions (with their attendant visuals) into the solid homespun cloth of a Mennonite upbringing. Victor Klassen comes from a Canadian Mennonite family. He practices an Eastern meditation discipline - Vipasana. He has lived in Mexico for the past twenty years where he married a Mexican woman and has raised his daughter with dual citizenships. His life, infused with the diversity of vastly different cultural influences is reflected in his work, woven from a saturated palette to form a ground of color that is broken periodically by visual exclamations. His exposure to global influence produced a true ethnic convergence for he is an artist who has assimilated and processed the possibilities of a borderless existence, a deep actualization of world peace.

The product that Klassen hands over is a tool that allows the viewer to escape the round of earthly things and engage in a more elevated conversation with visual phenomena. It is like the space inside the head when with eyes shut, the traces of perception gradually recede and a freer and less constrained sense takes over. An untarnished field of color and light is there to be explored with tangential connections and veils lifted. This is when abstraction is pure, unattached to the agendas of virtual reality and let loose.

Copyright 2007,  Julie Oakes