On a personal note. After the closing of my last exhibition at the Kibbutz Gallery, I felt the need to rethink how my exhibition, receiving a modest response, survived this traumatic chaotic art event amid the outside labyrinth of curators, museums, galleries, art dealers , auctions, hordes of artists each one confined in his solipsist studio, the art academies with their aspirating students , the art critics vagaries consecrating, expulsing or ignoring whoever is not in good terms with their private agendas.
A second moment of rethinking the whole situation was caused by an insidious though: what if it was not my exhibition but that of a yet unknown modern Rembrandt?
Well this is indeed a bizarre though. To prevent any mistake I declare that I am not the man to incarnate any Rembrandt at all. And to prove it here is a drawing I made in 2007, named ‘Joseph telling his dream’ representing the biblical story of Joseph and his brothers:
My drawing does not show how Joseph told his dreams to his father and brothers. Instead we see wiggles representing Feynman diagrams hinting to the underground world of possibilities and incertitude hiding under our seemingly solid classical world represented by Rembrandt classical etching made in 1668.
So, in complete antithesis too my above drawing, Rembrandt’s famous original etching with the same name (see below) is in terms of virtuosity, empathy for the biblical story and his overall genius in building the psychological portrait etched in the copper plate and the vibrancy of the printed etching –rocketing the sky of what we accept today as the ultimate art canon. Attributes I can not claim for my drawing.
Well his actual universal fame was historically not always the case:
…”Rembrandt is now universally considered one of the greatest painters who ever lived. This was not always the case. In his lifetime he was ranked below the Italians and certainly below his contemporary Rubens. Some considered him to be the greatest Dutch painter, but many would not have accorded him even this lower status.”.. see more on Genius Ingnored
So perhaps I rephrase my insidious tough: What if it was not my exhibition but that of an alien genius, acting as a modern Rembrandt? How would we identify him today in year 2010. One thing is pretty sure he wouldn’t paint like the 16th century Rembrandt. The curators or critics or the so called connoisseurs, equipped with their conventional art tools, would look at him with a blind eye and consecrate their human Rembrandt according to their no-alien art canon when faced with the emerging of the unfamiliar.
Lets not forget that one of the most praised attribute of his painting was the dazzling blaze of light his vision invented trough the use of oil colors. And if so, wouldn’t the modern alien Rembrandt be fascinated by the actual theory of light: massless photon traveling in spacetime under quantum mechanical rules, and ‘ paint’ with them directly his new version of the biblical “Joseph telling his dream”?
Well, in a similar vain, the architectural imagination of Lebbeus Woods, an experimental architect with an extraordinary drawing mastery, inspired him to think and visualize a Cenotaph commemorating A. Einstein as a spaceship in deep space (reminding me of Artur C. Clarke‘s novel Rendervous with Rama) , and as he posted on his blog:
“The Einstein Tomb project was created as a memorial to the life and work of Albert Einstein, a symbolic structure in the same spirit as Boullee’s Cenotaph to Isaac Newton. Because the self-effacing Einstein—who transformed physics as much as Newton before him—explicitly stated that after his death he wanted no such memorial as a site of veneration, I designed it to be launched into deep space, traveling on a beam of light, never to be seen in terrestrial space and time. However, owing to the gravity-warped structure of space (which Einstein’s greatest work—his theory of gravitation—described) it would return to Earth in sidereal time, an infinite number of times, or at least until the end of time and space at the death of the universe.”.. see more on his blog.
Source: Lebbeus Woods
The above drawing, representing Einstein’s cenotaph in outer space, is literally light years away from the usual cenotaphs. In the same way our contemporary art pundits are light years away from the modern unknown Rembrandt, perhaps their next door exhibiting artist.