Hendrik Arie Baartman transforms basic shapes and colors into powerful compositions that depict light, shape, power, and mechanized form. The disparate parts of Baartmans work are suspended between ground and foreground. His subject matter is vague, but familiar. The iconography is reminiscent of primitive, or ancient markings, yet seen through the scope of a surrealist lens. But the work feels contemporary, with a reductive palette that places the work in its own realm. Baartmans work seems to speak about enlightenment through an aesthetic experience. His forms are elemental and mystical. They transcend cultural signification to speak about a broad visual experience. The conception of light as a form is particularly innovative. Baartman's representations of light are ambiguous and usually objectified rather than reflected. In addition, he uses negative space poignantly to show the absence of form and light. The work depicts environments that allude to feelings or mental states. These environments are created from basic symbols, which maintain a mythical representation on Baartmanss picture plain. Baartman has exhibited internationally.
The way that Hendrik Arie Baartman uses form and color in his drawings is determined by his pursuit of an intuitive and highly emotional expression. "While I work with my own emotions, I discover that it is through the sensuous world, by evoking sensations, that I am able to communicate those complex emotional states to the canvases," he says. Baartman recreates atmospheres found in nature and uses them to weave emotional atmospheres. The result is sometimes chaotic, sometimes harmonic, noisy or tranquil, but the elements find themselves floating in interrelation, forming an autonomous micro system. "In absentia evocation" is a phrase Baartman uses to explain how this "recreation from nature" is made. "I work with the absent, with that which is not here and can be very present precisely because of its absence," he says. "The common element is perhaps a longing for nature that is absent in huge cities.