We are already familiar with Rafaël Rozendaal’s work from his last year performance in Berlin at the AFK Sculpture Park, but it is time for a deeper insight of his portfolio especially in the light of generative art, a creative trend that is gaining steam.
Rafaël is not an artist in the common use of the term: he doesn’t paint with a brush or on a canvas, he doesn’t sculpt nor avails himself of photographic supports. Even the label of multimedia artist, which implies the use of advanced technological means, such as computer-generated animation and interactivity, does not fit 100% the profile of this eclectic creative mind. Flash software and Webdesign are his tools, Websites are his artworks, playfulness and immediacy of the message are the key factors for his success. He sells intangibility and immateriality: the collector buys the work with the domain name, the name is placed in the html title bar and then the domain is transferred to the collector who becomes the owner of the website. The owner also signs a contract stating that the website must remain open to the public. The owner sees the exact same piece as the rest of the world, but the personal experience of each viewer will remain unique. These works are immaterial, they can be seen very privately at home or as a huge installation in a museum because a website can exist anywhere you want, anyway you want.
Some people might think that selling a website as an art piece is crazy, because digital reproduction is everywhere but Rozendaal is actually adding a four dimension to the traditional idea of painting: his images are jpg’s that don’t pretend to tell a story, but they move and interact with the viewers who become the virtual painters by clicking, dragging, sliding up ad down and so on. The viewer can expand many of the pieces and affect the shape and course of events. Rozendaal’s work often represents simple and ordinary situations like dropping a stone into an endless hole or emptying a roll of toilet paper but these repetitive patterns and images give way to more complex relationships and a meditative awareness.