Artist Statement

A Visual/Spiritual Journey

I am not a painter or an artist. I do not even claim to own that which my hand produces. I am but a visionary, a vessel for gods to express through. I am a philosopher.

I have been asked many times how would I describe my style of painting, on which I could not find an answer for a long time. It was very hard for me to choose between genres, since my paintings were very diverse and I had no preferences in style.

It was not until taking time to explore hidden philosophy behind the art created by my hand that, I found my paintings to leap in time as a prediction of my future. Thus, realizing that, my art is a pure expression of my own transforming ‘Self’ ever-evolving ‘I’.

 

Only then the style was born - Spiritual Surrealism/expressionism. 

 

Now when looking at some of my paintings from years ago, I finally find the connection between my hand and my higher ‘Self’, the one towards which each transformation tends. As an example one of my earlier paintings “She Amongst the Symbols“ created in 2001, predicted the beginning of my spiritual phase, which started roughly around 2005.

My spiritual breakthrough started with a friend introducing me to a 13th century Sufi Mystic poet Rumi. The more I read his words, the more his visions, thoughts and experiences started to manifest themselves in my life. I soon felt as if he was the only person who knew what I knew.

I tried to word my thoughts and experiences to those around me, but it was to no avail; I simply was looked at as a lunatic. Apparently, I was not old enough to be a guru or rather a bearded mystic from 13th century, in order to be taken seriously.

Then I turned to poetry, but my poetry was much too cryptic for a skeptic. Realizing that my poetic skills did not cut through those around me either, I walked away from words and turned to colors and shapes instead.

There were also few catalyzing thinkers aside from Rumi that caught my attention and helped me grow out of my shell. I have to be thankful to Goethe’s Faust for transforming my idea of the Devil from pure evil to a Gatekeeper, as he is represented in Pan’s Labyrinth. Nietzsche’s thought and poetry, which is very close to Rumi’s mysticism, was also a revelation for me. And it would be thoughtless not to mention Herman Hesse's Demian, where he speaks of Abraxas, a God that is not just light or dark, but is both Devil and God in one. Somewhat like mercury, not black or white, but silver, quicksilver.

I started using various symbols and signs in my paintings. The eye represented spirit, an all-seeing ‘Eye’ or ‘I,’ the higher ‘Self’. Eye is probably my favorite out of all symbols I use. One may also find repetitive recurrence of a Mercury and Venus symbol representing constant transformation/pure love.

During these years my art has proven to shift from style to style, expressing the wisdom gained from observing and dissecting everything brought to my awareness starting from my dreams to psychoanalyzing the human psyche through individuals’ body language.

I would find myself at outbursts of expressions, followed by a few months of creative blockage that later would sprout into more evolved spiritual views and catalyzing ideas about the (unknown). To stay sane during these blockages I simply had to remain creative even though it felt as if the cup was emptied, and before it was filled with the new I had nothing to say. These were the times when I would paint abstract accompanied by music, and with no thought at all to direct a stroke on canvas, I would let the spirit move through music and pour out of my hand on to a canvas.

Only later when the painting was done and I would gaze at it as a mother onto her newborn, I would start seeing shapes and images that were not premeditated. Whenever I flipped the painting a new image was brought to my eye making my abstract work to have no set angle. Even though one will find my abstracts signed in a specific corner I chose to leave it up to viewers to decide the angle that speaks to them the most.

As for the portraits, my aim is not to copy a person’s face and then simply paste it on a canvas as if it were a xerographic success to gain models’ sympathy and the crowds’ ovations, but rather to unveil an individual’s soul, which most of the times is hidden behind the mask they chose to wear.

In my humble opinion we all are (psychic) and we all have premonitions and one does not need to be special in order to hear and sense the higher self. It is inevitable that God’s hand stirs the universe through one’s flesh despite of individuals’ age.

Holy Grail is not just a cup it is each and every one of us as a Spirits vehicle. We are all that cup!

©2018 BY MARTA MACHABELI | New Haven, CT, USA | marta.x.machabeli@gmail.com