Nocturn, with burnt asphalt

Molten asphalt and oil colour on board,
900 x 900 x 25 mm.
2015 – 2023

In the interplay of light and darkness, André Clements captures a fleeting moment of urban introspection with “Nocturn, with burnt asphalt”. Situated beneath a suburban overpass in Johannesburg, the shimmering headlights of a car pierce the obscurity, casting radiant beams that are at once both illuminating and obscuring. This piece, rendered in molten asphalt tar and oil on board, resonates with the gritty, tactile essence of the cityscape, bringing forth the duality of Johannesburg’s nighttime allure and the profound solitude such environments can engender.

The choice of medium is particularly evocative. The use of asphalt tar, traditionally relegated to the roads we traverse, is seamlessly integrated into the artwork, grounding the piece in both material and concept. It speaks to a sense of place and the passage of time; the wear of tires, the heat of engines, and the countless stories that have sped across the urban landscape. The oil colours, with their rich and varied tones, enhance the atmospheric quality of the scene, suggesting both motion and stasis, luminescence and shadow.

Clements, known for his unique fusion of technical expertise and artistic mastery, engages the viewer in a conversation that transcends the immediate scene. The painting invites one into a contemplative space, a reflection on urban life’s transitory moments. It’s a dance between the seen and the unseen, the known and the mysterious. The car’s headlights, though a central feature, do not dominate but rather offer a beacon, guiding the viewer into the depths of the artwork and the layers of meaning it holds.

Drawing from his multi-disciplinary background, Clements crafts a piece that is both immediate in its representation and expansive in its implications. “Nocturn, with burnt asphalt” is not merely a depiction of a car under an overpass; it is an exploration of light’s interplay with the tangible and intangible aspects of urban existence. The artwork, with its intricate nuances and embedded narratives, stands as a testament to Clements’ ability to weave the threads of observation, experience, and emotion into a cohesive and captivating visual story.

Dated ~ November 2023

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Urban Environment Theme: Road Original Photographic Source Material Nocturn NightScape Night Landscapes Johannesburg dark Cityscape Asphalt

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