Simon Raab (France / USA) an artist’s statement
I work in a medium I call “Parleau” whose etymology is French for 'through the water.' Just for fun and to make a satirical point about artist branding I trademarked the name and patented the method. Multiple layers of colored polymers are applied to stainless steel and aluminum and then "crushed" or sculpted to give the appearance of an image just under the surface of water. The art is created as either a wall-mounted painting with embedded frames, or as a freestanding volumetric sculpture. I love to work with brilliant colors, figurative abstractions, and most often I am motivated by some underlying philosophical question or belief. I identify with the symbolism of the grenade, as a symbol of disruptive ideas and the change agents from which they come. They have the ability to destroy and disrupt and expose suppressed ideas, yet they are egglike, bearing offspring, activated and inspired by the hand of man, defensive, aggressive, working in the name of good and evil, dangerous and inviting. New and innovative ideas leave shrapnel of suspicion in your mind. The grenade is the perfect symbolism for creative destruction and aligns well with the Parleau medium. Parleau enhances the images on metal by a sculpting and crushing step, partially destroying after creating and generating a refreshing and dynamic visual perspective. Life is added to images, activated by life’s essence and the cycle of creation and destruction. I began as an artist and then turned to being a scientist and engineer and now back to being an artist. This background provided me a deep insight into materials and surface properties, which I brought to bear on my art. The secret processes I developed in Parleau were only possible because of my scientific background. It is a myth that the creative impulses and process in the sciences are different than those in the arts. They have many similarities, in that they are emotional, inspired, magical, technical, and are often born of frustration.
Simon Raab 4
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