" Beyond the only aestheticism,   the Truth "

 

 “Natural things exist only little indeed, the reality is only in the dreams”

Baudelaire (French novelist and writer, 19th c.)

 

Michael LEVY works according to the principle of the Duality and, for this artist who refers to an Asian spirituality, a thing really exists only by the intervention of its opposite.   So the Good and the Evil engender each other eternally, the black and the white contain each other themselves, and what we see is not necessarily the truth. This is why the sculptor choose to go beyond the simple appearance of the looked object and to try to translate, in his sculptures, the unconscious which we relegate too often in our heart.

 

So in his work on the dwarfs he wanted to represent them without skin, the bark being removed from. As he says by himself: " the skin is the largest organ, a sort of stopper between the outside world and the internal world. By not representing this skin in my sculptures, symbolically, it allows us to see the inside of the being, a sort of spoliation of the old man. One way as another to make an inventory on the spot and to try to live with what we have and not with what we would like to have. Some of my characters are crippled, but they exist in spite of the obstacles."

 

This duality, we still find it in other LEVY’s artworks. So are Eve (mother of mankind) and Circe ( in Homer’s Odyssey an enchantress who turned men into swine) , both polarities of the woman, the light side and the shadow side.  What is the purpose of this artist who knows how to ask the good questions? Unite opposite things, find the essential unity which allows us to reach the very middle of things, point of all the possible, all the future.

All these sculptures, all these skinned dwarfs, are in fact internal portraits which concern us excessively of our consciousness and which make us penetrate into a spiritual world in search for a desire of evolution.  So for example Sleeping Beauty, which rests on a base under of which are dwarfs, evokes the dream and the unconsciousness of the human being, as if this sleeping woman peacefully arose from this base, a real foundation of the idea of the artist.

In some other Michael LEVY's sculptures, bases give keys to the spectators and allow, otherwise to explain, rather to suggest the creative step. In a certain way we can say that Michael LEVY joins the high tradition and in particular Benvenuto Cellini's artwork (goldsmith and sculptor in Florence, Italy, 1500-1571), in which bases were of a big importance.  The LEVY’s sculptures are as idols, gods of a bubbling world where we would forget the aestheticism to only express the truth which is neither completely beautiful nor completely ugly: it is This Truth;  he expresses it in a staggering way, abolishing barriers and forcing us to become aware of the reality of our personality, rocked by a life where the parameters are at least fluctuating.

 

Michael LEVY has the power to tell stories embodied in the bronze, a way as another one to create and to pass on parables which someone consider as prophetic. Then let us listen to him, by looking at him.

 

 Patrice de la Perrière 

 

Arts News Magazine (in French), n°30, October, 1992

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