Roland de Jong Orlando
“Playing with rules”
“Many artists who work in the geometric abstract style think there’s one big danger: chaos.
Although they’re right, there’s something else which is equally dangerous, and that is order”
This remarks was made by the 87 years’ old sculptor Roland Phleps, during my visit to him in Freiburg, some years ago. I totally agree with him.
The first experience you have when you look at an image is of esthetic nature. Grasping the order, proportions or other rules that the artist has applied is an intellectual experience which follows afterwards, possibly. This intellectual experience can make that the esthetic appreciation of the image becomes more intense.
One can apply rules to achieve order in chaos. Rules that make that all elements within a unity are ordered along a strict pattern. An artist can make use, for instance, of the Fibonacci Numbers, the Golden Section or another rule, when designing something. He can also work without strict proportions and “just go on until it’s right”.
I too make use of certain rules to create order, both in the construction of my sculptures as in the proportions.
I don’t handle those rules as an aboslute factor, but in a playful way. Sometimes it means that these rules have to make way if chaos brings in something which I find more interesting, in an esthetic way.
Most of the time my starting point comes from order: basic forms like the circle, triangle, square and their threedimensional equivalents. This is already obvious in my choice of material: I often work with cylinders (straight or curved tubes) or beams.
This is then devided into some basic elements, with which I start playing by combining, organizing and manipulating them. By using just a small number of these basic elements this way of working could be limiting, but when playing with these elements I achieve maximum freedom: the final form often is not thought out in advance, but ‘discovered’ in the process.
The elements joined together in this way form a new unity, which is more than the sum of the single parts.