Thijme Termaat is a young, visionary Dutch artist who spent three years meticulously crafting one three-minute video: I Paint . Thijme is a self-taught artist who lives in a very small, rural town in Northern Holland. The video was constructed using simple, stop-motion and time-lapse techniques and no digital effects. It could have been made, as Thijme points out, a century ago. It would sometimes take him several days to construct a single frame and his output averaged one minute per year. Once it was complete, he posted it on Youtube and within three days it was being seen in almost every country on earth and soon had over a million views.
Careful What You Fish For, acrylics on panel, 40X50cm
I Paint, and a number of Thijime’s paintings, seem to brilliantly capture that sense of vision as a seamless, shimmering, superimposition of ocular and imaginative layers in a way that allows the viewer’s eye to spiral into a portal rather than be stopped by any definite horizon line. Thijime’s intention is not so much to focus the viewer’s attention on his images, but to help stimulate the viewer’s own imaginative process. As Thijme put in my interview with him:
My work contains a lot of surrealized every-day elements or objects. Mostly these surreal parts function as a crossover from one to the other layer, section or focus point of the painting in order to smoothen the line of sight for the viewer and also to mimic our dreamlike thought process. You cannot hold still a picture in your mind without re-taking your point of perspective every millisecond due to the holographic, feedback loop-nature of our thoughts and imagination. We all experience a constant stream of thoughts. Every thought we have smoothly flows over into another. I’m trying to embed that fundamental characteristic into my work in order to address the imaginational flow of the viewers, so that the experience becomes more of a ‘ride in their own minds.’
Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily
We’ve all seen so much art, in every medium, showing images of the grotesque, of urban alienation, inner hellscapes, the dark side of eros, dystopian futures, etc. Much of this anxious art has been visionary, but it is also refreshing to see art imbued with what my friend Rob Breszny calls pronoia. Take a three minute vacation from all the darkness we already know is out there and see through the eyes of an imaginative young person growing up in a loving family and looking out at a healthy, vibrant world full of color and magic.
I Paint no 12, Acrylics on panel, 120x100cm