RAKTISM
An investigative method by Ainsley Burrows

Raktism is a new method for investigating the fourth dimension, developed by Ainsley Burrows.

Burrows’ Raktist paintings are characterized by bright colors and soft shadows that often include abstract figures whose movements and features are choppy, creating the perception that we’re seeing them at different moments in time, from various perspectives. Sharp lines box in figures (be they spiritual or mortal) while parts of their bodies escape the framing devices; the escaped parts appear refracted and/or create a visual echo from the shape that was intersected. The lines cut the image and the space, splitting time and space simultaneously. Cubism, which also pursued the fourth dimension, splits the image itself to see the image in the round in a 2D medium; Raktism, however, taps the fourth dimension by splitting the image into different time signatures and revealing multiple planes.

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Minotaur, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

66 x 72 in

This visual effect is intended to bring the image and space together while also paradoxically splitting it apart, so the viewer can feel the intensity of observing time, feeling the movement inherent in the image even though the painting is static. Burrows often  includes representations of traditional African spiritual figures that act as symbols of the unknown, unseen and unknowable, which potentially further elucidates his quest to understand the fourth dimension. There is richness in that which we don’t know, and perhaps even greater richness in its pursuit. 

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Of Love, Craft and Country, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

66 x 72 in

What Is Raktism? | The Tenets

 

  1. A new method in search of the fourth dimension.

  2. It emerges from the same African art that inspired Cubism.

  3. Raktism comes from the concept of the tesseract; a cube within a cube or the four-dimensional analogue of the cube. The tesseract is to the cube as the cube is to the square. 

  4. Raktism is a mechanical attempt to reach the fourth dimension, characterized by a feeling of time, space and memory. Raktism’s fourth dimension only exists within a space of feeling.

  5. Raktism features boundaries, abstractions, echoes, repetition, and experimentation with leaps of time and space in one work.

  6. Raktism can be applied to any artistic or creative endeavor. [see poem Uneven Dreams by Ainsley Burrows]


 

Raktism, specifically within the context of fine art: 

 

  1. Raktism is compatible with different strategies, styles and approaches to painting including abstraction, expressionism, figurative, historical, and graffiti art.

  2. Raktism features boundary-creating lines that cut the space and time represented in the work. 

  3. Figures do not cross lines without undergoing change.

  4. Raktism employs visual echoes and repetition.

  5. Figures will sometimes have “cut-out” sections that are displaced to another part of the canvas or missing altogether.

* See more examples of Raktist paintings below - tap the right arrow for detail photos

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Saint Notorious I, 2021

Acrylic and pastel sticks on canvas

66 x 72 in

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Atlantis, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

66 x 72 in

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Gathering of The Gods, 2020

Acrylic and pastel sticks on canvas

66 x 72 in

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Afro-Futurist Dream, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

66 x 72 in

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Extended Family, 2020

Acrylic on canvas

54 x 96 in

The Gray Lady is a Raktist painting by Ainsley Burrows, which was painted live during FREEFORM-1

The Gray Lady, 2021

Acrylic on canvas

66 x 72 in

Photos by Jason Wyche