Michel LEVY, the Artwork and the Legend…

by Anne-Julie BEMONT

After having studied medicine, Michael LEVY, who knows well the human anatomy, decides to dedicate himself to the sculpture to put the human soul in a nude state, as the human body. He builds a whole dreamlike world where women with goddess’ bodies and disabled dwarfs are mixed altogether. But beyond the simple tear between the beauty and the ugliness, the good and the evil, a whole series of religious or mythical symbols come to be formed, giving to his artwork a matchless depth and wealth.

Michael LEVY’s artwork invites us in the discovery of a sacred world which is inspired, through its series of “vanities”, by rules expressed through the Ecclesiastes. Futilities of futilities, says the Ecclesiastes, vanity of the vanities, all is futile, and everything is vanity. What profit does man have for all his labor who he toils beneath the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth endures forever. Wealth and power don’t matter too much, nor the narcissistic beauty a woman carries in her body. When the death happens, what is left from all these human beings?

What does it remain for Job (the Old Testament Prophet who endured much suffering) when all his world collapses around him? What does it remain for the Man when he has no friend anymore than this ground which draws him to his painful and perishable condition? Only the idea of the work to be carried out dominates the life of the artist. Because when the man is not anymore, only the work of art remains as the most beautiful testimony of a lived life. ” Me! Me! I tell to myself that I am witch or Angel, exempted from any morality, and then I am returned back into the ground, with a duty to look for, and the rough reality to give a hug with! ” Exclaimed Rimbaud, the French poet.

It is exactly this reality that falls to the artist to seize and to transform. All the work of Michael LEVY is based on a sacred magic, the various stages of the birth of a sculpture evoke, in an allegorical way, the creation of the world. The earth, the water, the fire and the air are four essential elements in the work of the sculptor, by which it succeeds in giving life to these human beings sunk in the base of their Vanity of the beauty. Mud, lichen, vegetable roots which come to wind around on a column and become melted with the hair of a goddess with brilliant body.

Monstrous dwarfs perched on stilts trying vainly to join a world of light from which they were banished. Michael LEVY’s artwork oscillates between the dirty material and the understandable beauty, knowing that the ultimate ugliness can find mercy’s sake thanks to the eyes of her creator and that the perverse woman can also fall down from her pedestal.

Nothing is acquired to the man forever, who is in perpetual future. Michael LEVY’s sculptures tell us the story of a research. If we often spoke about duality about its artwork, it is doubtless because Michael LEVY searched for the original unity, trying exactly to reconcile the various aspects of the human nature. Expensive and soft duality of the human being, the singular tear which pushes the being towards its primitive previous history! The Angel of Michael LEVY fell on the ground, bruised by the vanishing pollution from which a dwarf tries to protect himself with a gas mask. He fell from his rank. It is nevertheless here on earth that Michael LEVY created his fine lady Maternity. Sublime and fragile humanity!…

 

Arts Universe (french publishing), november 1995