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101 Masterpieces

 Opus 99


Opus 99 - Blue Circle

Blue Circle

HAW, 2009, Museum of Most Modern Art



First Encounter

International critics went into raptures about this painting. In place of the entire guild we quote XY, who noticed:

"Behold the beauty of this artefact and abundantly feast on its endless intellectual river filled with nuggets of revelatory wisdom."

A comprehensive design vocabulary, which without hesitation may be called pompous, casts a spell over the observer and drums up interest for detailed exploration. Various artistic layers engulf the sensory perception and create a portrait of customs and traditions of the current martial arts scene.





It is about acceptance of doctrines which, against better judgement, give preference to the herd instinct of a self-deception culture. It is about a trial of strength between one's own knowledge and submitting to a group conformity aimed at collecting rank tokens and their associated reputation.  


So the verbal insult "opportunism" converts into a technical term for the performance society and thus into an equally necessary and expected act which guarantees the smooth advancement within a hierarchical social fabric characterised by colored ribbons.


This phenomenon is visualized in its complete diversity. Inside the martial arts association politics, depicted by the homogenous green area, safety and protection prevail, where the green tint symbolizes an attractor for the average rank color level of anti-dojos. Any attempt to leave this collective leads to the outer image regions, which are governed by sharp contrasts, edges, and corners. Beyond the border, uncertainty and chaos are skulking. Unforseeable dangers are all around when one gets detached from established rank examination rules and from permitted, if not expected, behavioral patterns. And it is this analogy of deviating and being conspicous that the exhibit is emphatically warning of.


This pictorial composition is dialog-driven, luring the spectator into a conversation with its tremendous generosity of visual accupuncture targeted at the aesthetic faultlines of common sense. In this context the unobtrusive absence of surreal water-buffallo illustrations allows for absorbing the subtle details emanating after a few days of uninterrupted viewing.



Form And Color


The difference between some authority certified doctrine, here the picture title, and one's own insight generates a conflict the solution of which will demand from the belt consumer a principal attitude to loyalty and abandoning the own will.


To this end, the square seemingly present in the center facilitates a decision because what else is a circle than an infinite polygon, which no one is able to draw. Once again one comes to realize that the path is the goal.  

On the way, the Do in martial arts, to the circle, the question arises from how many corners on a polygon may be called a circle. From the arbitrariness of this decision, from the impossibility to derive or prove a lower limit, it can be logically deduced that a square may be regarded as a circle. This result transfers fully to rank level requirements in the martial arts and thus reduces the allegation of the existence of unqualified color belt and black belt holders to absurdity. 


The second component of the picture title, the latent issue of green or blue, also becomes a test for the watcher whether he has understood the restricting arbitrariness of language and is able to break away from it.

Not before form and color are undisputed, not before the title is accepted without qualification, not before the officially taught reality and not the experienced one is taken as truth, can one understand the work in its complete entanglement and appreciate it as a symbol for the lifestyle of a modern martial arts generation. 



There were frequent attempts to copy this artwork, but all failed because of contentual and formal requirements. The gamut of imitations runs from partly successful approaches, e.g.


green form green form green form
green form green form green form


to clumsy fakes, such as 


red rectangle multicolored forms yellow rectangle
circular form Happy Geometry green rectangles




Outside The Box


The acceptance of an obviously wrong doctrine and its possibly disastrous consequences constitutes the basis of the so called "Integrative Intelligence", a recent concept playing an increasing role in various areas. In this the Blue Circle picture is used as a standard tool to determine the "Integrative Intelligence Quotient", or IIQ for short.



Closing Remarks 


The audience leaves the event stupefied by the awareness of what lustrous explanations the human mind is capable of concocting when being offered the path of least resistance, courtesy of social pressure and blatant crap.


2010 DEA