Thursday, May 2, 2019

Leonardo or the irreplaceable sequence

Although I find it stingy to establish hierarchies when it comes to Art, I would not hesitate to put the whole human and creative story of Leonardo da Vinci at the top of my "pantheon".

Indelible is the memory of that huge tome dedicated to his work I received as a Christmas present in 1986. It wasn’t  the paintings, drawings or codes written with specular handwriting, that immediately impressed me, but the superhuman effort, largely disregarded, that Leonardo had accomplished throughout his life in tracing his intimate cosmogony, made even more heroic and romantic by  the state of draft of many of his most ambitious visions.


Later, I was fascinated by how that sense of sublime incompleteness, which found an admirable representation in the use of chiaroscuro, was rooted in biographical experience, reverberating in the enigma of his sexual identity. It was especially in the morphological whims of his drawings of storms, anatomical sections, battles and caricatures that I identified the germ of what would become my passion for graphic fantasies and visual inventions so familiar even to the painting of Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel and William Kurelek. In the same period, I found that calligraphic wit and colour mastery in the illustrations soaked with fairy-tale realism dedicated to the life of the Gnomes by the Dutch Rien Poortvliet, an artist who should be counted among the greatest figurative artists of the twentieth century. It was along this path that I finally reached the reign of Freudian fetishes, delirious hyperrealism and atmospheric compressions by Salvador Dali, galvanized as well by Leonardo and Bosch in the gestation of his stylistic code. A deoxyribonucleic chain of which Leonardo will always remain the most irreplaceable and acid "sequence".

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