Robert Ian Najlis

Robert Ian Najlis

Artist Statement

My work considers the fundamental relationships of all life, and our connection to the larger web of life. The work suggests the permeability whereby all aspects of life touch and interconnect with each other. My paintings use the visual paradigm as a method for connecting the viewer and the work in a resonant conversation. It is drawing, painting, writing; it is reeling and unreeling the silk of the qi connecting us all. Some works directly incorporate sound art that actively responds to the relative presence of people to create a fuller environment that speaks to the immediacy of our presence.

My process begins from a search for a primordial sensation and continues along a path semi-dependent, motif related improvisation. I draw on aspects of Western and Chinese philosophical and aesthetic principles, derived from a shifting set of axioms with which to view the world, and allows for altering paradigms in how we think and perceive. Drawing on my background with artificial intelligence and diverse scientific traditions, my painting process is a dynamic network of interactions where phenomena arise from an emergent chaosmos.

One of my driving motivations is the question of the nature of reality and our place in the emerging and converging elements of the world. I draw on Deleuze’s materialist metaphysics, folds of “moving matter animated by peristaltic movements” (Deleuze, The Fold, p. 97), to create an art that is the process of becoming.

Understanding our relationship to other people and the greater world in and around us brings a profound connection, peace and joy to our lives, and is an essential aspect of our past and future as humans. My works are immanent spaces breathing with the alluvial flows and deep threads that resonate through all life and lives.

Biography

Robert Najlis is a Fulbright Fellow, preparing to spend a year researching Song dynasty art in relation to contemporary art at China Art Academy in Hangzhou, China. Song Dynasty art combined calligraphy, painting and poetry, which provides insight into contemporary mixed media work. He received his masters of fine arts from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, and a masters in computer science with a focus in artificial intelligence and cognitive science from Indiana university. He also studied at the Art Students League of New York in the lineage of Hans Hofmann.