“The Spectacle is not a collection of images, but a social relation among people mediated by images,” said Guy Debord in his “Societe de Spectacle.” but even this giant of French thinking may have been speechless in accounting for this type of performance art…..
VanDrehd does live performance painting of the less conventional variety. Working with a special glue pasted mixture, he paints large scale portraits, for the most part, which appear to the viewer to be complete abstractions: like painting or writing with invisible ink. However, as the climax to these “happenings” he projects sparkle glitter onto the canvas which affix on the design, and to use the GE phrase, “brings good things to light.”
Its a fascinating combination of speed painting and live theatre performance that combines elements of fine art and a bit of the craft side, given the materials used. Its showy, its fun, and it displays quite a flair of presentation as well as considerable artistic skills. Its a uniquely French creation that sizzles with theatricality and celebrity. In the best of worlds, it would be the kind of reality television that participatory culture would gravitate to. He also does “upside-down” painting as well, though its the canvas not the artist that is heads down. Van Drehd has a diploma in fine arts and has done events for some blue-chip multi-nationals like Louis Vuitton , Dreamworks, CISCO and Hewlett Packard.
In a world which really is topsy-turvy, the true is a moment of the false….The spectacle presents itself as something enormously positive, indisputable and inaccessible. It says nothing more than “that which appears is good, that which is good appears. The attitude which it demands in principle is passive acceptance which in fact it already obtained by its manner of appearing without reply, by its monopoly of appearance….( Guy Debord )