For many years now I have been struggling to find a way to speak to the opposing energies which we experience as human beings in living and witnessing life. One the one hand, there is such beauty, meaning, and grandeur in nature-and such meaning in the experience of love and friendship. That sense of Sacrament which clothes Jungs Creatura, that experience of meaning and beauty we discover from time to time.
On the other hand, there exist those forces of suffering, madness, evil, obscenity, cruelty, the face of Creator, the Prime Mover, The Fundamental Ground of Being, turned away. How to express these opposing forces in the arena of a painting? How to reconcile this dialectic of context? What is that pattern which connects and reveals itself through time? How do we dare to express that sense of unity which is the secret at the heart of all creation?
The answer was there all the time-it has been with us always-the vertical and the horizontal, heaven and earth. the warp and the woof, the eternal dialectic. For me, the breakthrough came in France last October, with the realization that I had to seize and possess this idea by owning it with deep passion and belief, to take to this human breast the desire to unify and thereby to sanctify the total natural world of which we are. To praise that ultimate unity which is aesthetic. The Albatross and the Symphony, The Fra Angelico, the 29th Sonnet.
Yes, we remember the Ancient Mariner's sea snakes. He "blessed them, unaware", and the albatross then fell from his neck into the sea. That relation between consciousness and beauty, and the relation between beauty and the sacred. And finally that relation between the sacred and consciousness. Thinking about thinking. And then making a painting. The new old man's way. As always.
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