E S O T E R I C R E A L I S M
E S O T E R I C R E A L I S M
OBSTRUCTIONS - INNER / OUTER - CUT OUTS - MASKS - WINDOWS & SHADOWS
In 1974 I made a spontaneous drawing with geometric shapes imposing their will on the figure (see fig. #1 below). I call these geometric shapes "Obstructions" and began to explore all their implications and associations. The strong interplay between rigid shapes and the fluid organic lines of the captive squeezed figure, held great potential to express on a formal level, many of the esoteric ideas that I study (see fig. #2 below).
On another level, the images represent an agonizing condition of helplessness and unconsciousness, hinting at the conflicted relationship of humanity vs. technology, or the divine battle between the spirit and the flesh. Much like the Cubists, my figures are also reinvented, but now as a direct result of cause and effect; where powerful directional forces; binding limitations; and gravity; stretch, squeeze and pull the figure into different "states of being" (see fig. #3 below).
Initially, the obstructed figures represented a kind of blame, a force affecting us from outside of ourselves, outside of our control. As this idea evolved, two new ideas emerged. In the first one: the Obstructions disappeared; and the human figure itself became "a container", with an inner figure (essence) painfully unaligned within its outer shell (see fig. #4 below). But now, the expressed meaning is clearly an inner process, no blame just "inner work", as the figure struggles to normalize and align the inner with the outer (authenticity).
The second transformation changed the Obstructions from a positive solid geometric object, into a negative space, a hole that no longer can exert any force to distort the figure, but now it offers new spatial possibilities and another layer of complexity. These Cut Outs reveal an unseen inner-world; and create opportunity to juxtapose the inner with the outer creating spatial tension between the surface of the painting and the interior pictorial space; and between the parts of the figure and the whole. As the figure is broken down into ever smaller pieces, perhaps on its passage to the quantum level, I think of movement from the physical realm into the realm of light. (see fig. #5 below).
Some of the cutout paintings create a kind of "virtual reality", asking the viewer to see what’s revealed in the inner space of the window, and then to use their own imagination to visualize what the hidden regions of the paintings look like and imagine the image complete. This is a very interesting idea which I continue to explore.
After 10 years of creating many different esoteric drawings, one day I spontaneously drew a figure with it's inner figure coming out of it's mouth, out of it's outer shell (see fig. #6 below). It was so obvious when it finally appeared yet it took me a decade to finally see it materialize. Once expressed I felt a new freedom to expand my exploration, and express more of what it means to be human and alive, expressing all kinds of emotional, intellectual and psychological content.
I have been exploring photography for many years, and now with new technology I am able to play with both Space and Time and I call these works, SPIME. There are images that merge multiple perspectives and create Cubism; other images that create impossible situations and defy logic; and still other photographs where the images express the esoteric ideas that I study (e.g. a figure with it's inner figure emerging from it's larger outer shell) . (See SPIME photographs).
I coined the term Esoteric Realism, to contain and represent this large body of work. This work captures something fundamental about humanity and essential about human suffering. It represents a painful condition of man being stuck in an unconscious state of being, unable to see it, or change it, and in this unconscious state, doing great damage to the perfect balance of the natural world and our ability to protect life on Earth. Esoteric Realism is a contemporary portrait of this inner struggle to separate fiction from fact; face the Truth; and transcend our current level of being.