A Strange Lab


It is 1969. The time of experimental, progressive pop music: Jimi Hendrix, Mothers of Invention, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Soft Machine, Emerson Lake & Palmer. There is a new music magazine in The Netherlands with an unusual lay-out:: Hitweek, initiated by Willem de Ridder. In this magazine there are often pictures of posters of pop groups, with fantasy-letters and Jugendstil elements. There is a boy, 16 years old: Rob Rand, who loves this music, and these posters. But he has no money to buy them.. Therefore he decides, to draw posters himself.


He begins very primitive, using felt-tips. A simple play with lines, name of the pop group in trendy letters (see Jimi Hendrix).
Later he uses coloured inks, combined with felt-tip. The drawings now become very detailed, almost graphical, all different forms who are combined together, interlarded with larger forms (see f.i. Vanilla Fudge).
Then he discovers the gouache. Now small miracles happen. The forms become very free, within a rich gradation of colours. See for instance Country Joe & the Fish. A highlight is Iron Butterfly, where colour inks and gouache are combined. The richness of forms is overwhelming, everywhere there is something to see. An other interesting element in these and other drawings is the ingenious hiding of the name of the pop group (Harumi1, Absolutely Free).
Besides he also makes drawings without names. It almost looks like...Art! See especially Lamp.
Later he uses the Rotringpen. He makes larger works on ivory carton, strange landscapes with a spatial aspect.

A strange lab

One time he makes a drawing, with a title made up in advance, together with an other art friend: A strange lab. This results in a drawing with a strange room and a cellar. Stairs, coloured light effects, mist. Somebody sitting on a seat, a thread connected with a machine. According to Rob the inventor has attached himself to his own invention, and has become the victim of it. Later he makes a large version of this work. Because the name A Strange Lab can be seen as a metaphor of all his works, it has been chosen as the title of the exposition..

Our temple

Especially in the later works with the landscapes a temple occurs, see for instance 130871. Rob explains the genesis of the temple as follows: he is the inhabitant of the temple. Others are also allowed to live in this temple, to get a room in it. To give others entrance to this temple hij makes a drawing for them. By giving them a part of his world, he gives them access to this world.
Later Rob Rand has left the idea of making posters and has tried, to make Real Art. However...
Rob Rand 2006