Art – Rob Whyte

 Posted by on December 21, 2012  Add comments
Dec 212012
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There seems to be a reoccurring uncertainty when a conversation is struck in the context of art.

It seems to be a question of integrity. What is real art? Is this piece a true expression of self?

But more often than that people critique their work in the eyes of others, they gauge their perceived success on the reaction of others. Will it sell? Will they like it? Why can’t I get into a gallery?

I don’t believe any of this should matter. I believe the purest or most real art, is that made purely for one self. To be completely involved with the work and to be proud of its outcome before another soul has laid eyes on it is where real art lies.
Art is an expression of you. A culmination of your entire life’s worth of exposure to the world, every influence and very experience you have gathered over your life is poured into your most recent work. Successful art is art that is made with no explicit references or intentional plugs, but with intuitive reactions to other works your have experienced and been altered by, not even just art, everything!

I have reached a point where I do not want to label what I do, because I do so many things. Though in saying that, recently I have ended up in a space that all of the influence I have gathered outside of the art world has informed my art making. Trying my best to stray and contest the high art regime I have ended up right in the very thick of it. I am currently a conceptual artist. Making wall drawings. The most influential people to me all happen to be graffiti artists, but as soon as I go near a book it ends up referencing Sol LeWitt, Gordon Matta-Clarke, Gerhard Richter, Blinky Polermo, Marcel DuChamp and just about every other artist that was a part of the conceptual art movement. I have ended up in an awkward ground between fine art and graffiti where I’m critiquing both simultaneously whilst also trying to build links and bridges to where my work can transition between both galleries and urban landscape even beyond? It’s strange, and hard to explain because I seem to be the first doing it in this sort of way. I’m coming from a strange angle that hasn’t been academically verified or even validated by the art world. I assume this is my goal? to change things, not only to question the function of the art world, but to change it. It is a system that is the epitome of elitist capitalist consumerism and upholds capitalism’s greatest flaws. Aaaaaaaanyway. I could write essays and essays about this. In fact I am, and hopefully one day I will be credible enough to be able to validate my research. Ha good luck on that one huh

I, in an attempt to fulfill my creative urge to express myself and my short life worth of knowledge and experience, create tools to create paintings and wall drawings according to certain parameters.

The end product isn’t always beautiful, but that’s because it’s irrelevant. The majority of the final product lies in the process and the explicit references that the process creates when theoretical parameters are applied to a single process.

The work that is in the pictures I have supplied was created as a result of 4 previous wall drawings, starting with an intuitive process, then stripping it down until it became a set of rules or instructions. Coincidently very similar to Sol LeWitts work. In this wall drawing the one tool I had allowed myself to use was the spray compass I had made to upscale technical drawing tools for the wall. I also allowed myself to use a chalk line to centre the wall for the following set of parameters.

– Extend the compass from smallest to largest arc, at intervals of 2inchs creating an arc at each interval. With only one can of spray paint.

2 inches because the wall was being divided in 2, inches as opposed to cm because the tool the length of the compass point adjuster was 2inches. It was just logical.

It was centered so that the process could apply any wall of any size and dimensions.

The result was interesting and imperfect, but that was brilliant because it explicitly explained the process in an abstract way. The compass arm was too long and would hit the ground when creating the smaller of the arcs, literally creating arcs instead of full circles. The way I accidentally over sprayed each circle made obvious the human element of the work as opposed to a painting machine. The can spluttered and miss sprayed when it went upside down making it obvious that it was a spray can as opposed to a spray gun. Bringing back an element of immediacy and direct link to the graffiti roots of mural drawing. It ended up as a perfectly justified piece that almost ended up beautiful with references to optical art being created as well. It was well received and was beautiful to contemplate whilst retaining its careless and confusingly handmade aesthetic.

This seems to be the direction I am heading and will continue to head. It’s hard to contemplate and explain without all the reading and research which this work employs. In trying to rebel against the elitist art world, I have created a piece that wouldn’t be received anywhere else

I hope you guys can benefit from this ramble and I would love to hear your reactions.

If you felt like learning about Conceptual and minimal art, all the artist I mentioned earlier are the most of the founders of the conceptual art movement as well as conceptual painting. Also if you wanted to see where all of my passion for Fine Art was found I encourage you to look for Judy Millars work. She is a God and an amazing New Zealander 🙂 also Simon Morris.


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  3 Responses to “Art – Rob Whyte”

  1. Some very salient comments bud, thank you for the reminders, and the suggestions for looking to outside influences.

  2. Draw an S.
    Draw a more different S.
    Close it up real good at the top for his head.
    Using consummate V’s, give him teeth, spinities, and angry eyebrows.
    You can add smoke or fire.
    And maybe add some wings, you know, if he’s a wing-a-ling dragon.
    Put one of those beefy arms back on him for good measure.
    Name him TROGDOR the BURNiNATOR.
    Add majestic lines… for majesty.

    you know Rob, this is all you really need to know about art, its meaning and how it references our inner self. But you already know that. And just like your Mum you have sent me off on a learning trail as I try and find out what these conceptual artists are on about. From an ignorant point of view I have to say that conceptual art is the biggest self centred ego trip on the planet.

  3. You will learn quite quickly that it most definitely is not if you read some of the material that is out there. the Art world though is most definitely built on ego trips, not always by the artist. Its just people like damien hirst and andy warhol that make it look bad. Even then, the whole idea behind Warhols work was to over commercialise art so it did exist as an elite commodity. A lot of conceptual art is Amazing and intended to exude the exact opposite of the elitist high art world.

    This is a brilliant reading about conceptual art by a Victoria University Lecturer, hopefully you find something useful in it!

    This is a article about Michael Asher’s work, he is an amazing conceptual artist and a lot of his work was focused around exposing the capitalist function of the high art world. one of his works he literally took down the wall between the gallery and the office to expose the institution and its elitist foundations. Conceptual art 9 times out of 10 is brilliantly witty, you just have to know about it.’s-contractual-agreement-commissioning-works-of-art-1975/

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