DIMENSIONS: 150 x 150 cm
TECHNICAL: oil on lin
‘Every lamp is a plant, the perfume is the light.’ Victor Hugo.
In some way there is presented in paintings a limit idea or there is n attempt to arrive at the culmination of what one, in one’s knowledge of history, has made one’s own.
Borges affirmed a unity in poetry: he ‘expressed the opinion that all the poems of the past, present and future were episodes or fragments of a single infinite poem […]’.
Coleridge wondered in a note: ‘If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him […] what then?’ This idea has the unity of a goal. In painting there is no act that is not the culmination of a series of intentions and effects. Coleridge’s flower evokes this essentially pantheistic idea of art. The one true recollection one would have, if on waking that flower were not in one’s hand, would be that of its aroma.
I was thinking about melancholy when I painted the picture of the bear, and with a touch of irony I recalled the story that Granville recounts of Byron… Lord Byron bought an intellectual bear that lived alone in the mountains, and brought it to stay with him, sharing an intense life centreed on poetry and nature. In the fullness of time, tired of solitude and poetry, the bear escaped and went on to become a good husband and father.
Basically, melancholy, like any subject I use or discover, is like the scent of Coleridge’s flower. It is an imagination that has the unity and integrity of an end.
There is something in smells that subsists. This associates itself in a surprising and capricious way with images, with sensations.
- essential art.