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Natural Abstractions Series, China & Japan, April 2019

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Natural Abstractions Series

“Natural Abstractions” is Claps’ homage to traditional Chinese painting and to the 18th century Japanese master printmakers whose graphic style greatly influenced the European Impressionists. In this series he creates contemporary interpretations of nature motifs used and repeated by many generations of artists. “Chinese and Japanese landscape painting has been an inspiration for me for some time now, and I wanted to pay tribute to those artists” – says the artist – “Each work is executed in a positive and negative version, in order to articulate the duality that is the basis of much of oriental culture.”

In these recent works you can see Claps’ fascination with the natural world, captured up close and translated into autonomous compositional elements, which at times recall geometric abstraction, oriental calligraphy, and cellular processes. His creative process begins with photographs taken in varied forests and mountains around the world: Cuba, China, Japan, the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia, and the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains of the U.S. The images are processed digitally and printed in black and white. Claps then applies a layer of gold foil and paints into the images.

Gold is the symbol of immortality, eternity and perfection, and the divine. Reflective, spiritual, metaphysical, with a warmth that evolves as the day’s light changes. In recreating these art historical motifs, Claps attempts to create dynamic images that live in balance between figuration and abstraction.

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