My art is a social commentary.
I delve into the darker topics of everyday life, juxtapositioned with humour and the optimistic use of colour. In my expression I want to be free from the shackles of the self. I paint with oil on canvas. I use a heavy dose of humour, cynicism, anger and happiness as my colour palate and take my themes from the singular subconscious on one end of the scale to the combined energy of collective consciousness on the other.
As an artist I am multi-dimensional. My work combines both expressionism and surrealism. This is evident in my career as a musician as well. I am Arno Carstens the solo singer songwriter and I am the lead singer of Springbok Nude Girls. This split personality between emotion and detail is evident in my painting as well.
The Self Portrait comes from the same place as the Springbok Nude Girls. This is emotional art, it is instant, it is obvious and it is expressive without regard for social boundary.
At the other end of the scale, there is The Quiet Ones. Attention to fine detail and the need to create a story with pictures forms the core of this work. It is still emotive and expressive art, the route is however is a far more complex and intricate one.
The journey in both styles reflects the balancing act between storytelling, emotional content and colour use, where the goal is to achieve the most natural state of arousal and visual opulence, an attempt at the perfect scaling of positive and negative. This is the thread that binds my art.
The inception of both styles comes from the same brain, and the destinations are intended to evoke the same feeling. The routes are just different. Some paintings will take me a year to complete and others just a few days – I am therefore a combination of short & sharp and long & lazy.
We have called this exhibition Arno Plus because I am not trying to reinvent myself as a painter. I am still and always will be, a musician, the art is just an extra facet, a Plus. Art and Music are not mutually exclusive for me. I am a painter that sings and a singer that paints.