Jošt Snoj

O slikah

 

Jošt Snoj

 

»In moja pesem v plamen se spreminja,« bi lahko rekel s pesnikom. France Balantič pravi:

Morda hudo bo, da še solz bom stradal,

vendar bom s pesmijo srce prebadal,

ukaz Tvoj v krvi k petju me priganja.

 

Slike, ki so nastale, imajo eksistencialno težo, ker je tudi slikar na eksistencialnem robu. Tako jih je označil M. I. Rupnik: »Bogata pastoznost, ki so nam jo zapustili impresionisti, in izredna bivanjsko, eksistencialno občutljiva, krhka, postmoderna predelava ekspresionističnega slikarstva.«  Gre torej za predelavo, ne za plagiate raznih obdobij. Obdobja, stili in pristopi so se v spontanem slikanju prepletli. V veselju do slikanja. Od zgodnjekrščanskega, poznoantičnega do ikonskega slikarstva, od zahodne do vzhodne krščanske tradicije, od objektivne slikarske govorice do subjektivnega pogleda in pristopa. Od človeške topline do teološke sporočilnosti. Prepletata se impresionizem in ekspresionizem, informel in nova figuralika z izkušnjo abstraktnega slikarstva. Prvin je veliko. Vendar se povezujejo v neko novo enotnost barvne materije in svetlobe. Barva ustvarja svetlobo. »Svetloba pade na platno in se vžge v pastoznost pigmentov, naneseni istočasno tudi v komaj zaznavni prosojnosti, in predmeti, figure na polju se razodevajo v neki barvno bogati sojnosti …«

Sveta obličja, figure, dogodki so prikazani v «barvno bogati sojnosti«, ki povzdiguje njihovo resničnost in konkretnost vsakdanjega v višji, barvni svet, svet razodetja Božjega. Stvari in dogodki, figure in obličja so zgodovinski in iz nekega časa, vendar so v neki razodevajoči se svetlobi prestavljeni v drugo dimenzijo. Ozadje in notranjost figur postaneta razodevajoči se ogenj. Božji ogenj, ki použiva (prim. Heb 12,29). Ogenj, svetloba. Vse je prikazano in se dogaja v ognju. Ta barvna in svetlobna moč ima enak pomen kakor v ikonskem slikarstvu zlato ozadje. Zlata predstavlja Božjo svetost, zvestobo. Vse je videno v tej perspektivi.

Zavedam se, da so to visokoleteče besede, stvarnost pa je skromna in uboga. Seveda, tako je! Vendar to ubogo jecljanje (ki je ustvarjanje) kljub vsemu povzdiguje slikarja in morda še koga, da bi laže uzrl svete osebe, svete ali tragične dogodke zgodovine v novi luči. Gledalec naj bi se navdušil, užival v lepoti in z večjim veseljem sprejel sporočilo miru, pomiritve in Božje navzočnosti v vseh stvareh in dogodkih tega sveta.

Umetnost je stvar VSTOPA v dušo. Prek lepote, skladnosti, harmonije, podobnosti, barve in melodije sporočilo luči laže vstopi v dušo gledalca. Ta naj bi ponotranjil sporočilo, ki naj bi doseglo njegovo dno. Videl naj bi preobrazbo naslikanih oseb in vsega stvarstva ter laže zahrepenel po lastni spremembi. Se laže odločil za korak v življenju, ki ga bo vodil k luči. Tudi ko se bo zdrznil ob pogledu na tragičnost in zlo, bo to doživljanje, ker je ovito v luč, vodilo k luči. Zahrepenel bo po miru. »O lepota večno nova, večno davna, pozno sem te vzljubil … in zahrepenel sem po tvojem miru.« To je smisel teh skromnih upodobitev: uzreti »luči večnih miz«, dopraskati se prek krvave stvarnosti do odrešenja.

Umetnost torej opeva lepoto vsega ustvarjenega in vodi naprej v preobrazbo, ko se bo to, kar je umrljivo, odelo z neumrljivostjo, ko bo to, kar je zapisano smrti, prejelo življenje (prim. 1 Kor 15,53-54). Oživljeno bo in večno.

 

On the Paintings

 

Jošt Snoj

 

‘And now my song is turning into flame,’ I might claim together with the poet France Balantič, who says:

In ill times, I may even starve for tears,

but ever shall my heart with song be pierced,

enjoined to sing by Your command in blood.

 

The paintings thus brought into the world have an existential weight because their author, too, is on the very edge of existence. In the words of the internationally acclaimed Slovenian mosaic artist and painter, Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik, S.J., they combine ‘the rich pastuous quality bequeathed to us by the Impressionists and a singular fragile, postmodern, existentially sensitive reworking of Expressionist painting’. Not plagiarism, then, but rather a reworking of various periods. The periods, styles and approaches merge together in the spontaneous painting process. In the delight of painting. From early Christian or late Classical painting to icons, from western to eastern Christian tradition, from the objective language of painting to a subjective view and approach. From human warmth to theological message. Impressionism interweaves with Expressionism, Art Informel and the New Figural Painting interweave with the experience of abstract painting. The manifold elements combine into a new unity of paint and light. It is the paint that creates the light. ‘Falling on the canvas, the light burns itself into the pastuous texture of the pigments, which are applied elsewhere in barely perceptible transparency, and the objects, the figures in the field, stand revealed in a richly colourful luminosity ...’

The holy countenances, figures, events are thus rendered in a ‘richly colourful luminosity’, which raises their reality and the tangibility of everyday life to a higher world: a world of colours, of divine revelation. While the objects and events, figures and countenances belong to a specific time in history, this self-revealing light takes them into another dimension. The background and the interior of the figures become a self-revealing fire. The consuming fire of God (cf. Hebrews 12:29). Fire, light. Everything is depicted and everything takes place in the fire. This forceful colour and light have the same meaning as the golden background in iconic painting. The colour gold represents divine holiness, faith. All is seen from this perspective.

I am aware that these are high-flown words, while reality is modest and scarce. True, of course! Nevertheless, this poor stammering (which is the process of creating) elevates the painter, perhaps even others, helping them glimpse the holy personages and the events of history, holy or tragic, in a new light. The viewer is meant to be delighted, to find enjoyment in beauty, and thus to receive more readily the message of peace, reconciliation and God’s presence in all things and events of this world. Art is a matter of ENTERING the soul. Through beauty, consonance, harmony, resemblance, colour and melody, the message of light enters the viewer’s soul more easily. The latter absorbs the message meant to penetrate to his inmost depths. Perceiving the transformation of the painted figures and of all creation, he yearns for his own transformation. He finds it easier to take the step that shall lead him to the light. Even when he starts at the sight of tragedy and evil, this experience leads him to the light because it is swathed in light. He longs for peace. ‘Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new ... and I burned for thy peace.’ And this is the meaning of my modest representations: to behold the ‘lights of eternal tables’, to scramble through bloody reality to salvation.

Art is thus a hymn to the beauty of all creation, leading on to the transformation in which the corruptible must put on incorruption, and the mortal must put on immortality (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). The mortal shall be quickened and made eternal.