Thoughts & Insights
An Element of the Universal
I am continually amazed to find how in OUBEYs paintings even the most disparate and seemingly irreconcilable elements are balanced in a relationship of equality and merge into one organic unity
I am continually amazed to find how in OUBEYs paintings even the most disparate and seemingly irreconcilable elements are balanced in a relationship of equality and merge into one organic unity: reality and fantasy, intellect and emotion, gravitation and weightlessness, science and spirituality, the playful and the serious (playful spontaneity and serious intent), desire and pain, life and death, dream and reality. For me this organic unity in his paintings evokes something that I usually find more in music than the visual arts: the echo of the cosmos in my soul.
Perhaps this is one of the hallmarks of the universal language which is expressed in his art and which makes it understandable to people all across the world.
Someone once asked me if the mission of the Global Tour wasn’t to document the different responses of disparate cultures to OUBEYs art. Even if this was the case, at this present point of time we can now state with confidence that the real cultural and other differences that exist between the people who encounter the paintings at different points on the globe simply fade into the background during the encounter or disappear altogether.
This is not so surprising if we think in terms of deep time because ultimately people everywhere share the same evolutionary roots.The linguistic, cultural and physiognomic differences that have emerged in the course of the past 20,000 years are all relatively recent, which means that they are by no means as deeply embedded as we would like to think today. Such a credo has been largely instrumental in coloring and shaping the course of human history over the past three thousand years, far into the 20th century with all its horrific and inhuman excesses and pogroms.
And it’s a belief that we have still not fully shed. But we have now succeeded, for instance, in replacing our old ideas about the Neanderthals as a kind of half-ape with a new understanding of them as near relatives of ours. Science and technology are also helping us develop a new understanding of what we hold in common and what might separate and distinguish us from one another. There is now a slight but justified shimmer of hope that we will not need another three thousand years to recognize the universal elements of our species – the things that we share in common, the things that bring us together – and make much better use of them. If only we have the will to do so.
In this regard, the words of a visitor to the OUBEYs studio many years ago open throw an interesting light on this line of thought. He said, “These paintings are like archeological excavations of the future”. If the paintings really do possess such a quality, the Encounter Project still holds a great reservoir of fascinating untapped potential that it’s well worth discovering. Perhaps in the coming years the project will find some new partner who would support it in this way in a professional capacity.
The next stopover of the tour in New Zealand promises to open the way to encounters that will further illuminate and enrich this theme. That’s why it’s been subtitled “An Element of the Universal”. There’ll be more about this in my next post.
Fotos: esma-touristic.com und science.orf.at
More articles about similar issues:
- Halftime of Evolution (January 2013)
- Bridging Time (July 18th 2011)
- Discovery of a Hidden Treasure (July 10th 2011)