|Born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1960, Abraham Michael Dayan, now a
French national, at the age of 33, felt a burning urge to paint
impossible to repress.
Symbolically most of his paintings have been the fruit of the passage to a new century, they were born at the turn to the new millennium : more than three hundreds of works, mostly created between 1999 and 2003. The creative storm abated in 2004. Twenty-seven of them have been inspired by the Bible : The Babel tower, the Saba queen, the judgment of Salomon, the crossing of the red sea …
Others have music for topic : Mozart composing in Paris, in front of the Seine river, the Piano Lesson, the Violin, the Flute. Incidentally, the artist is often listening to classical music, especially Mozart music, when working. Dayan’s style is so strong, so stable that it could be applied to any topic. I am confident that he can begin to paint landscapes, both in the city and the countryside, including sea views, since this is the ultimate challenge for a painter. He himself is giving this definition of his own manner : "puzzle pyramidal".I would say it is a creative, "Demiurgic deconstruction". He is splitting reality and building another one, or several ones, giving us a glimpse of all the worlds, the various dimensions hidden inside, or behind our world, far beyond what tired, discouraged, hopeless eyes see in ordinary, daily reality. By his shapes and his colors he is giving us hope, joy and energy. Backgrounds are always detailed, very much in the tradition of Persian or Indian miniatures. Nothing is left to hazard. Just look at the notes on the score sheets hold by Mozart in his painting. They are done with great precision, infinite care. Some hinder-grounds look like Turner’s clouds. Being neither too abstract, nor too figurative, neither too traditional nor too hyper-modern, neither too simple nor too complex, neither too subjective nor too objective, Dayan work is situated at a point of equilibrium, a crossroad which could be the start of the Renaissance, the Risorgimento we are waiting for since so long a time. His geometry in space is not at all an imitation of Picasso and Cezanne, painters he of course likes, and studied. He destroys and creates at the same time. He is not a cubist. He is different, but he preserves the link, the living thread with the past. He is very logical and clear, but is not afraid of chaos and rich confusion. What is art after all? -both a science, a religion and a therapy, a dream which is real and useful. A divine child of madness and love.
On one hand, Dayan is a researcher, a fanatic of knowledge and analysis, he is digging deep inside the several angles and view points which can open the door to a fifth, sixth, seventh dimensions, including the mysterious Far-East one which I am looking for myself. He is fascinated by the mystic of figures and numbers, the enigma of "One, Two, Three". One is the Whole, Three barely exit. The series of numbers is endless, mind-boggling, finite and infinite at the same time. But on the other hand, he is not dropping us, like so many other contemporary artists, into a sad and helpless, chaotic hole, a bottomless well, a frightening abyss. His art is a burning song of Love, almost an adoration of complex Nature and Reality. See his "Naked woman" for example. She is a woman for sure, but also a goddess. She is all in pieces and flames and, however, full of harmony and grace. She is living and peaceful, though she is attracting us, seducing us with all the demonic strength of an everyday, down-to-earth woman. A sexless and sex-full being, above mortality and immortality. Beyond Good and Evil.
Dayan’s art deals with very strong contradictions and succeed to tame them. I have the feeling that a strange and quiet, positive silence is at work in this
style of painting. A new, restful contemplation of the inner functions which govern Reality. Dayan dislikes the red color which is aggressive and warlike, he used it sparsely. He is fond of blue, particularly deep blue, night blue, black blue which is the color of meditation and galactic spaces, the nest, the cradle of positive and fertile brain waves. His is working, dealing with color mysticism as much as space mysticism. Such a creator must have a strong character, a strong will. As said Balzac, the artist is a lion of the Atlas, not a tamed and powdered animal, kept with a leash to make a show in front of idle people sitting comfortably in Salons. Such a painter has to be independent, free from everything : money, fame, journalism, ordinary thinking and customs. Completely dedicated to his art, he takes risks, trying to live at ease inside the boiling crater of the volcano : death, madness, above or/and below everything, or clumsily sideways, right inside the diagonal, the puzzling zigzag of bottomless reality. Even more perhaps than the writer and the musician, the painter is threatened to lose one’s balance : lines and shapes, strange lights begin to dance, to shake in front of his eyes, disturbing his daily existence. This is a fight, this is war, a very serious, very personal, very inner one, and bloodless, harmless for the general public, for society : only the sacrifice of oneself for truth, for the love of reality and humanity. Solitude to love everybody, to adore mankind from afar. Misery to be rich with one’s eyes and brain. Defeat, lack of success, that is to say late success, late victory, virtual, spiritual victory for refusing to compromise, to take the easy way, the common way preferred by the masses, the Law of the Crowd which we have recently invented to dominate and torture us.
Dayan is the authentic, the sincere artist, so rare nowadays, and all the same very much alike so many others in the past tradition of arts. Look how he is baring his soul in his works, like a child, like a ghost, like a reasonable mad man. His canvas is apparently simple, elegant like a Mozart or Haydn sonata, but so deep, rich, inexhaustible as soon as one can pass behind the front doors. Complexity is not thrown to us to hide the vacuity or the vanity of the authorunder an overwhelming and too conscious chaos, like this happens all too often in contemporary art. Just the opposite : the mysterious and unconscious depth stays at its right place. This is exactly what classic art is all about : to cure us by the virtues of the heart and hard work, not by the ironical and witty game of bright and sterile mind power. The black hole of quantity of information is not overcoming us. Mankind is overcoming after all, is freeing himself though and inside the dark forces. I rejoice to see his painting, to share his world view. He is giving us again joy, optimism, artistic enthusiasm. Thanks to him, we can have hope in this more and more tragic and absurd world of ours, at the start of a 21st century.