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Three meters of stainless steel to showcase a 12th century state of mind , with 5,000 pure gold leaves frozen in pigments.
The face of Khmer King Jayavarman 7, of Angkor Wat fame , is worth its weight in mindfulness. Witness the Birth of Cool.
A visual "Tour de force ", using a special brush made from the thin hairs of a young pig's ear. We talk degree of absorbency.
In a twist of karmic irony, a human being uses animal parts to paint a khmer idol . When everything is sacred, nothing is profane.
Johann Sebastien Bach performed the awesome miracle of combining the liturgical structure of his works
With its aesthetic structure. The khmer statues i love to paint are my songs in the house of my pilgrimage.
Sometimes, the artist is priest and his brushstrokes are prayers. In ancient buddhist kingdoms,
warriors covered themselves with sacred tattoos to make them impervious to harm.
The face of this powerful 9th century statueis a tribute to this sublime body art. Tattooing is an act of defense.
The most powerful Khmer monarch of all time, a royal dude, warrior and buddhist king.
Over eight hundred years ago, jayavarman vii reigned supreme. Goethe called architecture "frozen music".
This sublime face is what darkness is to art and silence to music, transporting us to another world.
Numbers: 7 lawyers of paint, 11 days of work @ 5 hours per day, 7 days drying in tropical sun and 9 semi-holy shades of grey.
Facts: the brushes were heavily trimmed, we had no sun for 2 weeks but a daily bottle of lynch-bages. Wine is the art of life.
Series of events and persons pass before us, with epic fullness and dramatic movements. The liturgy of life. Its symphony.
And our tortured souls, torn by grief and love, at the end of the day all end up in the objective, calm world of faith.
The golden boy again. He passed away in 1218, probably surrounded by a thousand topless bejeweled apsara dancers,
which perform only for kings and gods. I mixed oil paint with 24k gold leaves in a messy but supreme shake of glory and decadence.
Khmer monarchs dwelled in gold.
The depth of emotion by no means needs to be religious. A painting gets its life by slowness of tempo.
To slow tempo belongs reserve and restraint. If the massive, the sublime often move us religiously,
this lies in its overpowering character. Faces like this have a luminous effect. We feel different.
From an ancient kingdom where buddhism lives and breathes in every corner, here is burmese aristocracy of the mind,
painted on a copper plate, a smooth surface that lends itself to fine workmanship and gives a luminous shine to the paint.
A good painting is that which is more than painting. When spirituality and beauty are well mixed, their unity does not have
to be discovered, but can simply be observed. And no, we do not experience it, we suspect it only, in trembling bliss...
Paul Smith meets Jayavarman. The king of stripes whispers to the ruler of a empire that ones stretched from the Indian ocean to China.
Sometimes, art is frivolity, no matter how exalted its form is. A myriad of brushtrokes, one for each concubine he raised. Edifying.
This happens when you become intoxicated by the sound of your own music. I am burying the gold i was meant to show.
There is a lesson in there: a painting needs no content, because it is itself a world. We are slaves to its beauty.
I use 17 different brushes, many of them trimmed . Oil paints are a mayonnaise of dry pigments and drying oil.
I do favor the winsor & newton brand. The colors most abused :) are
titanium white + burnt sienna + burnt umber + yellow ochre + sap green + french ultramarine + lamp black. Et voila.