“The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”  Francis Bacon

Would it make any sense to you, if I told you, that a collection of artworks could create a superior reality and become a source of sacred wisdom?

Do you think that it is achievable for a painting, to play a role of something that goes beyond a visual delight and transforms into a collection of teachings to be lived and experienced by the Western, urban society?

ARTE HOTEL BREGAGLIA, 2010, Promontogno, SOL, Nr. 1 and SOL, Nr. 2, 2010, 265x235cm each, oil on canvas

(c) Conrad Jon Godly, ARTE HOTEL BREGAGLIA, 2010, Promontogno, SOL, Nr. 1 and SOL, Nr. 2, 2010, 

Exhibition ALPS, Museum Redidenzgalerie, Salzburg, Austria, 2011

(c) Conrad Jon Godly, Exhibition ALPS, Museum Residenzgalerie, Salzburg, Austria, 2011

Do you think it realistic for art to teach us to love,  in the way we are loved by the Mother Nature?

When I say ‘love’ I mean a kind of love that has nothing in common with the sentiment that suddenly ends and turns into resentment and that chains the other?

In ancient times our ancestors did not need to speak in order to communicate, nor did they depend on the technology outside of themselves. The ‘supernatural’ was part of the natural. Back then God wasn’t confined in temples, nor was the everyday separate from the sacred. The people spoke to the Earth using the common language of all beings, visible and invisible. These were times when the silence was of a great value to people as contemplating it – gave access to other realities (according to the old teachings silence, if total, fertilizes the seeds of wisdom that every human beings holds within himself or herself).

The most horrifying consequence of the development of our civilization is the degradation of the man whose life very often is becoming a trivial, insignificant, frivolous form without ‘content’.

It seems that all that’s deep and spiritual has been replaced with the temporary, flashy, shiny and material, connected to the earth and disconnected from the eternal.

Despite of ‘continuously growing economy and quality of life’ in the so called ‘developed countries’, somehow it becomes more and more difficult for people to reach true happiness. We act just like the confused, speeding cars on the highway with no navigation, running after false goals, no longer really knowing where we are going.

In addition to this we seem to have lost the understanding of what the real beauty really is or should be.

Because of that lacking element, a lot of people enter upon the spiritual path from an intellectual perspective, desperate to find the answers that should heal the suffering spirits. Since we often don’t feel ‘complete’, we try to search for the complex explanations, covered with a curtain of enigmas and described in self-development books. The truth is, however, that in order to ‘really see’ one needn’t understand everything. Most important is to be able to turn ones vision within instead of looking outside.

The most important question is – how to achieve this? Is there any ‘secret key to the real enlightenment’?

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(c) Jon Conrad Godly,Exhibition INSIDE, 2016, Kyoto, Japan,Gallery Shibunkaku, SOL, Nr. 110, 2014, 220x180cm, oil on canvas.

That truth, the purpose and the essence of life that everybody seem to be looking for could be revealed only,  if one is ready to return to the simplicity, offered by nature and look deeper, beyond the surface and all that’s visable for the eyes.

This is a fundamental truth that I discovered couple of monhs ago. It happened under the influence of my viewing of incredible paintings by  a Switzerland based artist, Conrad Jon Godly(*1962).

SOL 50

Conrad Jon Godly, SOL 50, 2013, Private Collection 

The view of the works of this very talented artist allowed me to experience the birth of a new mood, an unknown, euphoric state of mind that gave me the access to the ocean of natural spirituality.

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(c) Conrad Jon Godly, SOL 49, 2013, Private Collection 

There is no doubt that that kind of art transcends the ‘artistic limits’, becoming a guide to the ‘absolute truth’ that is simple, clear and profound,  just like the waters of a mountain stream , being at the same time universal for any world, any reality, any culture and religion.

a part of CREDO, detail, oil on 100 canvas boards, CONRAD.JPG

(c) Conrad Jon Godly, A part of CREDO, 2009, 229x126cm, oil on 100 canvas boards

What really strikes me about Conrad’s art is the fact, that his art embodies a state of mind of a True Wanderer – that is of a man who is looking for a perfection and harnomy in the nature’s own, natural charm.

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(c) Conrad Jon Godly, Nr 45, 2015

As a matter of fact, only after reading few online articles on that painter and his biography,  I understood where the striking, timeless beauty and serenity of his art come from. It turned out that Godly’s sensitivity and eye for all that’s pure and divine has to do with the Japanese ideals and that  he is after, similarly to the genius artist Vincent Van Gogh (1853- 1890), whose artistic legacy to great extend has been influenced by Japanease art, culture and ideals.

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(c) Conrad Jon Godly, SOL 22, 2013, Private Collection 

Almond Blossoms Painting by Vincent van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh, Almond Blossoms, 1890, Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

It’s quite important to mention that, it is very rare,  if not completely impossible nowadays to find an example of an active, contemporary artist, that fully understands the ideals of Japanese Art and creates work that is a reflection of a quiet and subdued quality Shibumi, that is all about suggesting rather than revealing.

The similarities in the approach towards what the real art should be between the old Asian masters and  Godly’s art is the result of the painters constant search for the spiritual rhythm in nature. His most accomplished and breathtaking artworks are a result of striving to represent everything he paints in its right relations to the Infinite. Through the usage of thick layers of paint, Godly constructs the invisible, second life of the objects or  masterfully and with an eye for minimalistic grace and harmony,gives a shape to the abstract feelings that inspire him.

According to information found in the book that I purchased in a local antique store, ‘A Glimpse of Japanese Ideals: Lectures on Japanese Art and Culture, Tokyo, Japan, 1937, Japanese consider it vulgar to show everything plainly, to let all be seen at a glance. Their taste is for simple things, rather than the complicated and ornate; for pure elements rather than the mixed and turbid. They detest gaudy coloring, screaming to the eyes. They admire elegance and buoyancy, as suggested by mountains, rivers and trees.

Exhibition BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 2014, Kyoto, Japan @gallery_shibunkaku

(c) Conrad Jon Godly, Exhibition BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 2014, Kyoto, Japan Gallery Shibunkaku

Exhibition BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 2014, Kyoto, Japan @gallery_shibunkaku22

(c) Conrad Jon Godly, Exhibition BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH, 2014, Kyoto, Japan Gallery Shibunkaku

The same rule applies in the artistry of Godly. The paintings from series called ‘SOL’(2013) or ‘Between Heaven and Earth’ (2009) have depth, but avoid being too apparent, or ostentatious. They are simple without being crude; austere without being severe. They show the thought behind every skillful stroke, offering the refinement that gives the spiritual joy; a subtle touch of the modesty of the soul.

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(c) Conrad Jon Godly, ‘Between Heaven And Earth’, nr 48,  2009

When I saw the paintings by Conrad Jon Godly for the first time, I imagined a  story.  A story  that begun with the painters feeling when his brush first touched the canvas.  Whenever I look at one of the paintings from my favorite colletion called ‘Between Heaven and Earth’ from 2009 I think of a lifeline and the precious time that we have received at the day of our birth.

zwischen himmel und erde, nr. 45

(c) Conrad Jon Godly, ‘Between Heaven And Earth’, nr 45,  2009

Those of you, who feel intrigued and inspired, after hearing my thoughts on the art by the modern, Switzerland based master, I strongly recommend you to watch a video version of the poem I wrote some time ago.

Pilgrimm’s Dilemma

The anthem of faraway wolves died away

not knowing if my heart or my lips cracked

cold wind laughing in my face

camouflaging irrelevant footprints

that were to confirm the heaviness of being

I’ve left traces in the snow – therefore I’ve been,

wild animals still follow me – therefore I am. 

 

mountains oh divine mountains

ornaments that bloom silently

from dark depths 

will you give me a shelter and embrace me 

with your giant arms of earth?

 

all roads are now mine when nature thought to compromise

no storm will disturb my path nor the silence

I’ll grasp the existence of sins, of crimes and violence

watched from the roof of the world when all things are impossible to stop

 

yet this is where justice is built

on mountains rising brows

that cannot be overthrown

by the cruelty of torrents

nor tamed by court orders

 

if it’s certain that every coin and every mountain

has two sides

will I  still find my way to live in this silence

in this paradise without borders?

    (c) Anna H. Lucy 2018 

The edits of the poem have been done by my dear friend Ms. Dorian Novak and composed in combination with Conrad’s paintings into a beautiful video by Sean Hayes whose moving narration, combined with striking music by composer Tiago Benzinho, offers you an entrance into an exclusive space where art meets music and poetry for a unique, unusual and one of a kind experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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