The paintings history, according to historians, begans with the rock art of the primitive people. In truth the Neanderthals’ paintings were sacred graffiti, used by the community’s Shaman to capture the spirit of the bison, to make it easily fall prey in the hands of the other authority of the tribe: the Hunter.
In a similar way the Norwegians and peoples of northern Europe carved sacred symbols on wood or rock, painting them with bright or dark colors, to get their goals. The god Odin teached these magical symbols to men: a rune in the air to stop the arrow of the enemy, a rune to extinguish a fire, a rune to set free and one to chain. No coincidence that the Celts depicted Ogma, the god of magic, with a chain outgoing from his mouth, which ensnared enemies. The secret code of the Shamans, as well as symbols and graffiti, was also sound, music, “en-chant”. So from painting it comes out music, other code that according to Einstein was closely related to pure mathematics.
In Australia the Aboriginal peoples know very well this rule: every story has its own song, its own place, its own name. Following the Songlines, their feets leave a musical journey on the outback’ sands, beating a rhythm, draws symbols. They write a secret code, while walking and singing along their randomic but precise Walkabout. And the Earth listen, Gaia reads.
These concepts were well known among the Greeks, who conceived the civil and the sacred geometry, based on ancestral symbols that they conceived, or perhaps they have seen it on their travels in Egypt. The Pharaohs were considered sons of the gods, and someone say that their ancient wisdom, their hieroglyphs, were a legacy of lost civilizations, such Atlantis.
It is said that the Hebrew language is derived from the powerful and mysterious language of the Angels, able to create or destroy, to change reality. In Israel, King Solomon built his temple thanks to a precise code, explained by Yahweh himself: a mathematical secret that millennium after was discovered by the Templars. It was the beginning of the Time of the Cathedrals, not just places of worship but living altars, designed in accordance with a geometry and rituals designed to achieve real miracles.
During the medieval dark times, the Shamans removed their wolf skins and wore the humble habit of monks or the clothes of the painter. Confused in the crowd, they studied human anatomy, proportions, Euclidean geometry: the painter was also a sculptor, a scientist, a master mason. They built the Cathedrals, and they entered in it, to fill them of sacred images, seen during their visions. Leonardo, Michelangelo and Caravaggio bent the laws of physics, the stone and the light to their will: they were bearers of a secret code, able to create things, to model reality. They say that in 1500 d.C. Michelangelo shouted "Why don't you speak to me?" to his Moses statue, you'd think that he was very close to infuse life itself to the stone, as did in the same period Rabbi Loew to his Golem in Prague, or as did the Titan Prometheus with the First Man.
In the digital era, in which the artists apparently have no longer reason to exist, hidden in the crowd we can see again the ancient shamans. Nowaday the border is pulled ahead, just beyond the limit of our senses. Modern society gives us a life full of all the material goods, and yet something is missing. Those limits, which are beyond the veil of dreams, behind the wall of the extreme goodbye, or over the doors of perception, are not insurmountable for the Shaman. He has the magical pass, he goes dancing in the twilight and with patience cloacked himself with shadows, watching the shape-thoughts floating around and witnessing the messengers of pure light fling by. He observes, scrutinizes, learn, dance the Ghost Dance with the spirits, live where life has a different color, seeking a vision that the elders have granted to him. Then he come back to our world, shaking the Siva’s ashes from his feet and grab a painter brush with his hand. Sounds, colors, angels’ whispers, demons’ mantras, music of the spheres, all can be represented as a code: a set of characters with an alien look. A code like that, as the ancient runes, not only describes the spiritual reality, but is capable of regenerating the matter, to build new things, to restore life and strength. And to change the fate of people. This is only the extreme abstraction of Art in the 21st century, and yet, somehow, is already generating a New Reality. Just now.
Pablo Ayo, Rome, May 26, 2015