Obbe Tiddens work relies on timeless themes such as life and death. Not the lightest of themes. But these themes let him use colors to create an immediate contrast, lightening up subjects that would otherwise be dark and heavy. Some of his work can be seen at the GrachtenGalerie in Utrecht, the Netherlands until October 18th.
Although he lets snapshots and photos inspire him, he does not want to create the sharp undistorted images you’ll see in digital artwork. Digital art and photography is often unreal in it’s sharpness, making them clinical, whereas our actual observations aren’t sharp and clinical. We observe with a certain distortion. Colors overlap and intertwine, even with a change in the focus of your eyes or a slight change in where your eyes are looking. Similar to the effect of the old Russian camera’s now popular amongst photographers, Obbe creates false colors by overlapping colors or layering them. Semi-transparant paints help him realize this image. Music to him is more appropriate as a metaphor to our observations that just color alone. Color to Obbe is actually very technical, and it’s up to him to apply colors in such a way that the final result is in line with our natural non-technical observation so the piece as a whole will affect our feelings. As music does. The observer should be able to project is own ideas on the portrait.
He has a mix of monochromatic works and more colorful works. But even in his multi-colored works there is a sense of unity in the the entire piece that he achieves by using a base tone that is applied in all the colors, even if it’s just a little. This enables Obbe to combine several colors in one piece without it becoming chaotic or even childish. The base tone unifies all the different hues in the piece.