Like many other forms of art, it looks like painting experiences some signs of decline or fatigue nowadays. Of course, one continues to paint and draw, even using materials more typical of sculpture, such as clay, sand, or even concrete or steel. But these original ideas, these innovations basically hide the real problem: a lack of deeper, or better, higher inspiration. Therefore, it is not originality that is lacking, especially not in this field, but things rarely go beyond the two dimensions, so characteristic of this form of art, symbolically speaking. What precisely is missing?
It simply misses the feeling of being seized by a thrill, the feeling of being confronted with something that seems to be descended from another world, more subtle, purer, beyond the visible reality. The images that painters or designers show us can be beautiful, surprising, new, but they are rarely imbued with the artistic quality that so often characterizes the works of the great painters of the past. And that artistic quality of the past, what was that exactly?
The true great painters of the past were able to capture a subtle energy, a light, which surrounds man and the material world, and to give it concrete form before our eyes. This was their greatness, their extraordinary know-how that others lack. This energy, this form of luminosity, is indeed palpable outside this physical world. It can be felt around people of great moral elevation, sages or true mystics, but in principle, it is not visible to our earthly eyes. The painters of the Middle Ages sometimes tried to express this invisible reality by painting a halo around the heads of certain individuals, but basically it was more a visible symbol, which does not necessarily materialize the light which is actually meant to be expressed. It was Rembrandt who tried most consciously to capture this luminosity, this light on the linen, where others before him, such as Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo had captured this light in a more unconscious way, more “naturally”, so to speak. This subtle energy, this light is a reality, but above all, in the world to which it belongs: the invisible world. In order to make this visible, and this is the challenge of future painters, it is necessary, above all, to believe this then to try to make an inner connection with it, to live it.
The new painting, the paintings of the future, will be imbued with this spiritual light, Divine, and provided by painters who are really seeking to get to know this, by way of a spiritual path and an inner attitude of high morality. And then, from their works shall once again emerge this impalpable light capable of doing wonders for the benefit of the whole world.
“Ray of hope” by Alain Béral – acrylic on canvas