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thought I would start writing merely about my work, setting up so to speak, some kind of "directions for use" or "glossary". But it seemed to me more appropriate to write also about myself and some of my views on the world, about my personal and professional career and finally about my work, especially bearing in mind those who would like to understand my work so that they can also fathom some of the concepts inspiring their creation.
All along the centuries and throughout the civilisations, with no distinction of race or belief, scribes and copyists, silent and attentive, with dexterous, faithful and patient hands, transmitted us - with the help of their calligraphic instruments - sacred texts, historical facts, love stories and poetry, unforgettable legends, peace treaties, sciences and laws. They are the pillars of human knowledge, keys to the wisdom necessary to understand our existence, enabling us, with an attentive eye peering into beautiful manuscripts of the past, to prepare the future or travel into a world of dreams... even for just a few moments.
It was with that kind of reflections that, one day, while I was contemplating some ancient manuscripts a few years ago, I decided to initiate this trip back to the past (but without return) which I am accomplishing today, between reality and the imaginary, passing through all the different eras of human knowledge; rewriting what has been written already, designing once more ideas already gone by but impressive to me, thinking through what has already been thought, trying to feel inside me the same sensations my predecessors would have felt, not without a certain nostalgia. I am sailing endlessly through dozens of texts, venturing through phrases, sometimes without immediately feeling them but after a deep reflection I do feel the presence of a superior wisdom which gives me the sensation that I am a thirsty child craving for knowledge.
Also, since I have my doubts on everything in this life, including myself and my limits, I am curious to understand the unknown and discover other versions of our existence, since I would like to know the various aspects of one single question, the secrets of this life, I dive into the past through the manuscripts, through the books, trying to discover inside them all their details; copying out the questions, enigmas and replies; transcribing the thoughts of other people more audacious than myself. And since I do not know how many more years I will live - I believe that when you do not think about death you are being irresponsible with life, you are forgetting to make plans worthy of our sojourn on earth - I keep busy everyday studying books and their sometimes long but entrancing texts. I bury myself inside them, intensely, attentive and dedicated. I scrutinize them with quiet eyes: context after context, line after line, I slowly feed upon the knowledge they are handing over, I absorb them while trying to feel the essence of these eras and their ideas, trying to apply certain teachings of the past to the present reality, to my time, or sometimes I just transport myself in imagination to be able to represent these ideas in my work afterwards.
All of these texts, these beautiful texts, I look for them, fascinated by all of these places where they still have their own space; and I admire them, I transcribe them: in French, in Latin, in Portuguese, in English and so on... comparing one to another, trying in my thoughts to stand besides their authors and understand how they were elaborated. I do this with no consideration for time, as if time were my dwelling, my only place of inspiration. This is all fascinating to me, it involves my whole body, my whole soul, my whole time.
And once my study is over, I draw on a piece of paper the space where the chosen text will be received, that valued text of which I will be the interpreter. I imagine the text once finished - comfortable in its place, sometimes illuminated, later admired - that I am about to transcribe. And this is how I start writing in calligraphy with simple and involved movements, on the support with my quill, in the alphabet I have imagined for it. What type of letter do I chose for my calligraphy? I chose the one that answers best my inspiration at the time, the exact letter, the exact size; a letter that talks as my hands copy the words, the whole sentences. I consider this a spiritual approach.
"Thank you and greetings from Canada.
"Thank you for inviting me to your world, beautiful work
"Thank-you!!!I appreciated your works too."
"Thank you Johan, for sharing your world.
contente de te renontrer,
j'aimerais en savoir plus sur ton travail, ça m'interesse,
Bien à toi"
THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!
YOU SURE DO AN AWESOME WORK.
I'M GLAD TO BE AMONG YOUR FRIENDS.
GREETINGS FROM MEXICO,
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My works of art are an exact copy of men's reflections in all eras; they are presented by me on a material that lasts and remains and embodies the preservation of knowledge, just like an image or a painting representing discourse.
Besides, if the nature of the existing and living things, is the incessant play of movement and rest and that Art, in all its disciplines such as music, dance, theatre, painting, sculpture, drawing, etc., endeavours to capture and reproduce the times of life's movements or natural rests - life which is and will always be this original which inspires us; my work's objective, as it were, is to still down reflection, which I consider as some kind of "rest" subsequent to the never-ending undulating movement of the ideas of great thinkers, that is to say of human beings. The result is the materialisation of the spirit of the texts which I consider beautiful - but since I know that the "beautiful" is relative to each and every one's sensation of taste, perception and education, I leave it up to everybody to have their own free and spontaneous appreciation.
The philosopher in me tells me that an artist is a man of all times, he is located in all eras, he is sensitive to all changes around him and contemplates humanity. The texts I choose and use in my art works are witnesses of what I have just stated, for it seems to me that everything changes and that human beings adapt. They vindicate their superiority, their ability to solve problems of an existential kind, their vocation to dominate everything on this planet, their interest at being part of life, at making this life pleasant, their never ending search for the beautiful, this beautiful which, according to me, keeps on being relative. Speaking of which, if God held Himself satisfied of the result of His creation, perceiving that all was good - and naturally beautiful - I, as an artist, observe that there is some "beautiful" resulting from my work, but yet feel forever unsatisfied with the results and I wonder with each new piece whether the result is "good".
This reflection leads me to the following conclusion: all that counts in the execution of a work of creation is doing it well and that the result be good (despite the incessant and unending search for perfection); the "beautiful" is but a sensation which a creator leaves his admirers the privilege of satisfaction.
I take the pen, I chose an alphabet, I fill the pen with ink, I feel the pen, I move the pen, I draw with the pen, I make circles with the pen on the support, I watch the thickness of the stroke of the pen, I go up and down with the pen, I draw right and left, I stop, I start again, I go back in elegant rhythms, I imagine, I express myself, I dance ballet with the regular strokes, I change ink colours, I change nibs, letters, I change direction in irregular strokes, contradictory strokes, I feel the invisible music that the harmony of the letters create, I stop, relax my arm, I read the text again, I analyse it silently, I comprehend it, contest it or give it my agreement, I compare it to the text in calligraphy, I start again, I take the pen, I invent, create, make mistakes, I stop, I start again, I stop, I put the pen down once more, I watch the infinite space of the support, I rise my eyes, I contemplate the emptiness around me, I think, I imagine, I transport myself into another world, I go back, I calculate, I decide, I dare… I take the pen again, I chose an alphabet, I fill the pen with ink, I feel the pen, I watch the thickness of the stroke of the pen, I move the pen, I draw with the pen…