Roland Schimmel

Dutch artist Roland Schimmel presents his body of work in which a key role is played by optical phenomena that are produced by the human body when exposed to certain visual data. In paintings and animations that have been made in the last twenty years, he makes way for and gives a place to so-called after-images. The artist has a specific view on the source of this natural phenomenon, quote Schimmel: “I regard after-images as the expression of the longing of my physical body for its origin, the light.”

Sophie Tates and Andreas Broeckmann wrote about the work (in: cat. Deep Screen, Art in Digital Culture, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 2008; text abbreviated by MK):
'Schimmel constructs his paintings (airbrush on canvas) and animations (computer-generated) with care. These are abstract works that, in terms of form and color, already resemble after-images with black and colored dots in the picture and vividly colored but often vague patterns in the background.
The visual effect is overwhelming: the afterimage on the retina slides over his painting, creating an impression that is more than only the work. It is no longer possible to tell where reality stops and projection begins. This perception of the artwork, however, is short-lived: after a few seconds the image slowly gets vague again.
The body of work is an exploration of the dividing line between reality and appearance. If you look at his work, close your eyes and see the complementary colors appear on your retina, you also gain a sudden insight into the unrealized possibilities underlying every word, action, choice: the complementary forms of what actually exists.'

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