Sunday, 27 March 2011

The Garden of Earthly Delights


              “I finally went blind when I was thirteen years old, and it was the loss of my sight that took me to places I might never have seen.”

Distortion of vision is a recurring theme in The Lantern, whether that is real or metaphorical blindness, or the fear and uncertainty of doubting what one sees. Visual illusions can be produced deliberately, as with a zoetrope, the cinematic cylinder that makes pictures appear to move, or the eyes can dissolve the world in common ways – by myopia, for example.

This mesmerizing abstract photograph is titled The Garden of Earthly Delights. It is by Leovi, a Spanish photographic artist whose work I have come to know and appreciate over the past few months. For me – though others may see very different images – there is a Pre-Raphaelite quality about this piece: rich Victorian stained glass windows; a silken flow of robes, draping into darkness. A woman is lying back in the top left quarter, and in the play of water and glassiness and light there are shades of Millais’ Ophelia drowned in the stream of flowers.

If the point of these abstracts is to induce a sense of infinite possibility in which the only boundary is the limit of the imagination, this one seems to me a perfect illustration of the imagination itself, and of the fearful distortions inherent in loss of sight. Because part of the draw of this picture is a powerful frisson of the unknown. Who has not, at some point, experienced a visual disturbance – whether an unexpected trick of the light, or a blind spot caused by staring too intently at a light or fixed point – and feared that something was wrong, that the effect might be permanent?

And here that is (though again, perhaps only to me, with my particular preoccupation) distilled into this beautiful but treacherous scene, with its underwater quality, cut off from salvation, as the river weeds wave and the world above of air and light is slipping away. 


The second abstract makes me think of amber, and vintage perfume bottles from the Art Deco era; the possibilities that this image, in a form of synaesthesia, somehow holds an opulent scent. The colours are warm and subtle, the kind of shades that compare with blushful fruit: peach and apricot, raspberry and plum. What does it depict? I don’t know. Leovi never tells us, though he does occasionally give titles.

But these pictures make us think, and the very act of staring into their essence relates to the loss of sight - the examination of objects ever closer to the eye to search for meaning.

For more superb abstract photography – and to let your own imagination fly – click here for Leovi’s blog, and here for The Garden of Earthly Delights in context with its companion pieces.

19 comments:

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

The Garden of Earthly Delights photo is MESMERIZING. The swirling images call to your imagination - daring it to jump in. Thanks for sharing :)

litlove said...

How do you keep coming up with such gorgeous art? These are amazing and hypnotic. And distortion is a fabulous topic, too.

Danièle said...

Magnifiques photos.

bookspersonally said...

beautiful! yes, they remind me of old/melting glass.

Stephanie M. Hasty said...

thnak-you for posting on my blog, so i could take notice of these gorgeous works of art. i like it when an artist doesn't give us much to go on so we can imagine it, almost as much as i like it when i know the stories (as with marriage ala mode). these are wow! can't wait to peruse Leovi's blog.

S.L. Pierce said...

That picture is amazing!

RICHARD MOISAN said...

Pour moi, il s'agit d'un tableau abstrait, même s'il a été obtenu par un logiciel de photo. Quoi y voir? Je pense que chacun peut y voir des formes ou un message différent. C'est selon la personnalité de chacun.
En tout cas, ces couleurs et ces formes sont belles, et, à mes yeux, c'est l'essentiel.
Bon dimanche, Deborah!

MuMuGB said...

It reminds me a little bit of Escher. Sight might be a subjective sense...thks for sharing, I didn't know this artist!

Rachel said...

Your descriptions of the pictures are beautiful!

Richard MacLeod said...

Beautiful work.

Bunched Undies said...

Wonderful post Deborah, as always. Reading your blog is like taking a mini-vacation.

monicadevine said...

My immediate reaction to the photograph is fascination, as though this represents a peek at the beginning of creation itself. I've taken macro shots of slices of agate, jasper and other rocks that draws one into colors and shapes that belie the rock's outside features.
We're headed to Brusssels, making our way down to Italy in April.
Your blog is a wonderful seguay into our trip. Beautiful words and images.

Lisa Erin said...

Lovely abstracts.

Kenza said...

Bonjour Deborah,
Je te remercie de ta visite et de ton gentil commentaire, oui, je lis un peu l'anglais...
En ce moment je suis préoccupée par cette affaire de plagiat (tu as peut-être lu mon billet à ce propos), dès je retrouve un peu mes esprits, je reviendrai pour faire plus ample connaissance.
Je te souhaite la bienvenue dans mon petit salon de thé.
Amicalement,
Kenza

Cathy K said...

I could get lost in that Garden of Earthly Delights and in the lovely writing that dances inside it...

Serendipity's Library said...

Beautiful. Looking at them reminds me of looking through stained glass windows. Such a great post. Thanks for sharing Leovi’s work.

Sarah said...

Oh my, oh my. Your blog looks fantastic. I immediately locked in on the tree of life photo. I remember very well driving down that road last year. Your photo is sooooo much better than the 30 or so that I took!

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Je suis fan de Leovi aussi. Ce que tu appelles les distorsions de la vision et qu'il illustre toujours de riche façon, me mènent aux distorsions de la pensée... en ce qu'il y a de riche du côté de l'imaginaire...

ñOCO Le bOLO said...


· Leovi is a creative photographer. Glad to see his work in this interesting blog


· regards

CR & LMA
________________________________
·

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