Reminiscences: in the Search of Meaning
Drama is the essentiality of the life art,
therefore it remains the essentiality of the art
Dramatic is everything outstanding in the art. The ability to live the life as a drama and to follow the drama of life in all of its facets − both of the daily routine and historical scenery − is a distinctive feature of a true Master’s works. L. Medvid’s dramas do not fit the framework of the daily or historical events, they impart the existential. The painter’s images manifest the most important and essential dimensions of the Man’s existence.
Although the new project «Reminiscences» differs from all the previous images created by L. Medvid, it certainly develops his lifetime themes. The theme of the Prodigal Son, the man as an eternal wanderer is the main trend of the master’s art both in his early works and the later series. This theme had been transformed into the motif of restlessness which is immanent to a human being in search for their place in the Universe, but in vain. That is why the Man feels alienated, lonely and scared, with their life extending into a desperate expectation. These feelings are exhibited in the numerous epic Evacuations, Parables, Ecce homo, Terra incognita, Peripheries cycles… These themes constitute the semantic core for Reminiscences as well.
Despite the multitude of individual fates, the human life is essentially a dramatic progress towards the death as the inevitable upshot. This openness to Nothing makes one search for the meaning of life, long for eternal values, which are worth not only to live, but even to die for. However this search in the XX and XXI cc. would frequently affirm the lack of meaning in the world. In fact the images created by L. Medved have been elaborated as an unfolding of life, devoid of meaning, ranging within longer or shorter, harder or easier, eagerly chosen or imposed variations. The theme of the Prodigal Son emerges as the generalized image of a man who lost touch with his paternal home having committed a sin and having suffered the blackout of consciousness, which resulted in his facing the absurdity. For the Biblical Prodigal Son the wandering through the absurdity proved to be a way to regain the meaning of life.
L. Medved’s images are also a certain stating of the existential situation of absurdity which originates in committing a sin and suffering the blackout of consciousness. But at the same time this stating encourages the search for meaning in spite of the absurd.
The drama of Human Prodigal Son (L.M.) presents a certain background for the perception of Reminiscences as a whole in terms of the universal meaning. At the same time it splits into variety of «small», personalized dramas. There is the antagonism of Women (the sensual, intuitive) and Men (the logical, rational) in the diptych The Earth. In the diptych Debit-Credit there is the degradation of the human existence to a scheme to be calculated and inventoried. A Man and a Cage depicts an individual destined to dependence and self-restraint of the freedom. In the diptych Ab ovo or The Large Salt Pylon we can see a drama of disobedience, violation of canons as a starting point of a new existence. There is an eternal waiting which seems to be meaningless, but in fact it is subordinated to the dynamics and calamity of the Universe in Train Station and Sunbeds.
The artistic achievements of L. Medvid in general and his new project in particular are a significant phenomenon of nowadays. Unfortunately, the creative and professional deficiency, which claims to be the gospel truth and ¬denies other options, has presently become the norm in disguise of the «new art styles» or «the author’s vision» names. L. Medvid’s painting is the lively, real alternative to sage conclusions about the exhaustion of the art, defined in its essence by the category of the sublime, aesthetic, tragic. The Art is dead only if the author has nothing to say or if he can not speak the language of art and his artistic skills leave much to be desired.
Reminiscences offer the viewer the evidence of a place for the spiritual growth in our artistic life and it is possible to say about it as clearly and sharply as the author does. And we are not destined to lose the most important things in the life and art − those things, which make us the People: the ability to search for meaning, even if we still remain the prodigal sons for a long time.
Daryna Skrynnyk-Myska, PhD
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