The Art of Painting and Dreams
It is impressive that painting, which is the most sensual of the arts, is also the most metaphysical. For color, of course, but not only for that: in sculpture, color is a liturgical ornament that transforms it or makes it similar to an icon, sometimes even to a star. The strange impression produced by the art of painting, therefore, becomes more profound when we discover that what is painted does not coincide perfectly with our own vision. Even if born of the desire to show that man congenitally suffers, painting has never possessed that purity that inner vision offers to itself as its own object. There is, in paintings, even if already completed, something that is still in progress. It is just as if the work of painting was, with respect to sculpture, less separated from the action that produced it. As if what was painted is less independent, less objective, far from the ideal object. In fact, if it reaches a lower objectivity, it takes on a greater weight than some of those other things that fill and go beyond the human being, and that don’t arrive nor, in principle, can ever be transformed into an object.
Paintings flow, as a river, they pass, they happen. Their place, before space, of which they certainly cannot do without, is time. The works of painting occupy the space by opening another in which what is painted trembles, comes forward and enters, threatening to sink. And it retracts in itself, sometimes, as a stranger and even as refractory to vision. An intimate event, a mystery. A dream.
Painting, therefore, is like a living instant, an instant of time between two dreams: the one from which it is born and the other, that of the tenacious will to represent, in all times, passing through them.
This, it is true, could be said, in essence, for all the arts: that all of them, including that of the word, are given between these two dreams and realize them with the little time they carry. In the art of painting, however, this condition is shown with greater properties, because its content are phantoms, apparitions like those of dreams.
Painting is born in the caves to magically grasp something that flees and takes off, the souls of the living object of desire. Maybe it was for the obsession for hunting or for some other reason, but that cave painters wanted to tear the soul to those beings and to keep it there, neither living nor dead: alive, separated and captured. The soul is the "being" for those who dream. From the dream painting has its origin: it was born in the perennial night illuminated by the unequal glow of fire, light matter like that of dreams, adhering to the bare rock. To accommodate his birth, it was necessary to open the void, the dark viscera of the earth: a smooth wall as canvas. Without it, there will be no painting; In fact, painting will always be perceived as adhering to a wall, to a surface, if not enclosed in a cave. Guarded in it, as a secret caught by surprise or as a mystery that lets itself be seen.