Yesterday morning, the 01 01 2014, I woke up with my face to a painting of mine on the wall close to my bed. This is the one I’m talking about:
Until yesterday, this painting, one of my favorite (and subjectively, one of my best works until now) was not “personal”, so to speak… It did not have a personal, visceral connection with me. But yesterday, sliding from my dreams (whatever they were – usually I do not remember them…) to reality, I saw that slender, kind of skinny naked man (maybe that’s why it wasn’t personal… I wasn’t skinny until recently…) was lying there, encircled by a dark, black green shadow. I had a minor epiphany: that was me, shadowed by my cancer, menaced but still calm… All of a sudden, this painting (one that I’ve started painting years ago and then repainted in the present form in 2009, I think) become very, very personal. A premonition.
A bit like the famous Self Portrait with an eye pulled off, by my compatriot Victor Brauner, one of the most famous PREMONITION paintings int the history of art.
Self-Portret with one Eye
Seven years after he painted this self-portrait, playing a bit with Fate, Brauner lost an eye in a bar fight (he was only a by-stander)… He become famous not only in the Surrealist circles (which he was an important member) but also in larger even if occult circles… By the way, his father was a spiritist or something like that…A Facebook friend, Adrian Onicescu, tells me Brauner’s story was told by Ernesto Sabato in Abbadon, the Exterminator (thanks!)
An this is not the only puzzling premonition in painting we know… There are stories like that in literature, too. I remember a gruesome story (by Pierre McOrlan, if not mistaken…) about a German painter who didn’t want to paint anymore because in each new landscape he painted some horrible crime had taken place… That will be an interesting subject, premonition stories and paintings…
Anyway… Back to my own little premonition: identifying myself, as a cancer bearer, surrounded by the menacing shadow of death, lying there in the sun (I hope in the sun; the original photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson, called “Trieste”, if I’m not mistaken, was taken in the 30 ties in that supposedly nice and warm place in between Slovenia and Italy, near the Adriatic) I also almost immediately looked at the yellow-green tree. Here is the original photo:
Trieste, 1933 by Henri Cartier-Bresson
There is hope for me, I told myself. That green-yellow tree is a revival symbol, a Spring symbol, a renaissance sign. In all of that shadow and bleakness surrounding “myself” (?), among the saturated orange and yellow-ocher orange and the dark shadows (didn’t get yet what symbol was the tower… a phalic one? and the fence? )
Of course, it could be only wishful thinking… Somehow, I feel I will survive (at least a few more years) to the cancer challenge. I did not finished my business here, on Earth. I still have a family to care of. Grandsons to see growing. Drawings and paintings to be created… Not done yet, I think. I hope.
We are what we think. We are what we hope. We are what we fear. And God is giving us whatever we think, we hope, we fear. “He” is impartial and neuter, like a mirror of ourselves.
And, as I created a motto, a “slogan” for myself a few years ago, to get me through times of great depression and poverty – and some hope, too – (inspired by Nikos Kazanzakis’ famous cretan epithaph) I think this has become now even more important and significant, meaningful for me (I was also thinking of Viktor E. Frankl‘s superb book : Man’s Search For Meaning). Here it is:
No regrets. No expectations. No fears. Be free!
Copyright 2014, Dan Iordache/Ion Vincent Danu