Henri Matisse, Interior with an Egyptian Curtain, 1948
Art is the language that predates language itself. It is the communication before words: creating—the joy of aesthetic that fills your chest with feeling; but who had even said a word? There was none spoken. The paintings that I make are referents of a place just before time (or right after), before language, as we know it. The painting I seek to create, speaks the language of creation itself. God spoke the universe, and all other things, into being. But what did he say? We might imagine words from language the likes of ours, yet what would it be like coming from God Himself? Perhaps an indiscernible sound, or, perhaps still, no sound at all. Perhaps the very act of creation, the very miraculous involvement, was the “words” that had been “spoken”. Light, form, and color! Their birth in an instant, and all potential, thrust in all directions! “And it was good.” Yet, even still, it was “good” in comparison to what? There had not yet been one that roamed, drank, ate, or tasted. Something (everything) was created, and that was it. Ah! And it was good! Indeed, “it” was the first “good”! (That which was created!) The Lord need only look at it—feeling it—what was made—and thought it “good”. So long it took me that I might learn the meaning of good, as we would speak of it: The first scrape of the knee, cold or fever, sadness. But the intrinsic good lay there all the while, or else I would not have anything to compare my scraped knee to. The good, born of nourishment, before I yet knew anything at all. The good that naturally came from being created myself—when conceived, and necessity fed my molecular being; and the blood cells came rushing to my aid, ushering me in from not to is. Yet, most notably was that God saw that it was good. What did “good” mean then, I wonder. I somehow doubt it was a word at all. It was a complete visual experience, joined with the act of making. Joy that spilled out over the darkness and made life, through joining and separating, molding and shaping. Art and love making at its most high passion, and roaring fulfillment. The pleasing aesthetic, and joyful interaction of spirit and material. Thus, the Logos was known by its own self. The Word itself was not a word, but a sign, a composite, a referent of that which is good. And so it was, and all that flowed from it came springing out, growing, gleaming, jutting, stooping, moving. All alive, all in praise, all good. Charged and bursting. To see creation come to fruition, out of joy and love for that which was made, even prior to its birth, is the maker’s motives. Creation for creation’s sake. This is what compels the painter, and what fills their chest with joy and high passion. It is this communion with the original good that compels us to take part, and create a sign unto that which is good. Why the aesthetic of the most unspeakable word “good” wells up in us, and our souls tremble and burn.
“It is as if, paradoxically, our everyday world turns out to be routed in something like heaven, with an idea of form underlying it that musically rises up and lifts matter from within, consumes it, returning it to its noumenal truth.”
Truth be told! Labrusse precedes: “Actual forms have been literally effected to give free rein to an epiphany of being.” Thus these forms communicate the secret truth in creation and being. The painting, as well as the minimal object, communicates the truth without speaking. They whisper to you, but without telling you, yet it is not a non-truth, but it is parable. As God was in the presents of Moses, yet in the form of a burning bush, the truth was administered, and the “I AM” reveled. In parables Christ would teach, yet the prodigal son never lived, and the events never played out; but He was telling the truth in how it was related to the Father, and that is what was communicated (Luke 15:11-32). So Christ says: “Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.” (Mark 4:9) The quiet and silent forms are as Kierkegaard speaks about the lily and the bird, that “by keeping silent it indicates to you, that you are before God…so that you too, in all seriousness and in truth might become silent before God.” Don’t the trees do this for us? As well the sea, the meadow, the flame? The silent painting is this way also, and the act of its creation is reminder of the dark expanse that was made life—that which was good. It does not speak, therefore we listen, because we now have ears to hear, and truth is heard. We have then heard and received truth, but through seeing, and the phenomenon of the object, its real time now-ness, makes a reflection of a pool (our epiphany of being!), and keeps us in the presents of that which saw Itself and declared goodness: the Logos, whom with He is well pleased. For these reasons I paint, that you too would be still, silent—to experience the milk and honey of nature—to listen and not speak—to feel and acknowledge your own soul that it might be pulled out through your skin, and glow from your face. This is why I paint.
Latex on canvas and wall