Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The breath of William Kurelek

I think it's a pity that nowadays the name of this talented and visionary artist survives just in Canada. The story of my obsession for William Kurelek dated to the discovery of his masterwork "The Maze" that happened accidentally when I was a child reading a large book about psychiatry belonging to a friend of my father. The detailed and disturbing sagittal representation of a human skull full of boxes containing small iconic scenes (reminiscent of those ones depicted by Magritte, Ernst and Dali) impressed me so deeply that I couldn't forget it for a long while, even if I wasn't able to know who was the painter since the book didn't provide the name of the author. The mistery enveloping both the painting theme and its creator boosted even more my fascination for the image. Somehow his Bosh-like and bruegelesque taste reminded me an intense state of mind I perceived when I was very young staring at the little figures on the basement of an old globe in my house.
Accidentally the last year I found again the same large book in the house of a friend of mine, but this time I checked out the illustration references at the end of the volume and, following the several clues on the web, I finally managed to find his name. Since then I studied his life reading rare canadian books and discovered further impressive pictures and drawings he made during the period he spent at the London Maudsley Hospital when he painted "The Maze".
I started to paint this picture while I was simply musing about all the ancient feelings I recovered when I found again that gruesome Kurelek's self-portrait. I cannot explain rationally why I paint this urban landscape. All in all, showing what you cannot express through words and logic, might be the reason paintings are made for...