“No great art has ever been made without the artist having known danger”. Rainer Maria Rilke
The quote of Rilke could also be described as “Creation is suffering”, and I must say I have had my fair share of it. Several times in my life I had a close brush with death, through disease or accident. But each time I was able to vanquish the shadow. I was still young.
Now, as I enter again a twilight zone, I have created this Dandelion flower as a sign for our corporal fragility, our extreme vulnerability. A breath and we dissolve in nature, like the seeds of the blow-ball. Our material appearance, the ethereal projection of the thought that brought our existence into being, is vanishing. The “clay” of our existence, the spirit clothed within our body, is returning to God. Our “Tree of Life” becomes a red skeleton, the spirit is gone and the seeds, our creations, remain and multiply.
In the ancient tradition, at the end of an individual’s earthly life, the question asked at the “Pearly Gates” is: “Why didn’t you achieve your own potential”? In Hugo von Hofmannsthal’s “Jedermann” (“Everyman”) this is the moment to consult ones Conscience, and to find out who is willing to accompany us on our last journey. For me it will definitely be my works and the love of my companion of fifty years.
During our life, our soul evaluates through our conscience every choice made to determine if an act will move us closer or farther from Unity, the ultimate pleasure of life. The surest means to achieve this perfection is Love. According to the Bible, God tells us that if we want to build a loving relationship with Him, we shall start by loving other members of humanity, all of whom are made in His image. Lao Tzu put it in these words: “At the end of silence there is the answer; at the end of our days is death; at the end of our life, a new beginning”.
Albert Einstein showed us that energy and matter are actually two different forms of the same entity (E = mc2), the energy which survives us and which fills my Cloak, the symbol of conscience and love. As my energy fades away with age I clearly see it reappear in the Cloak and my other paintings and sculptures. Four years of daily work on the Cloak alone. I can’t even imagine it anymore. This transformation of energy into matter is for me the heartbeat of the Universe, a movement kept alive through our love: love for God, for Nature and for Humanity.