Point of view, Vol. II. – May – June 2007
Author: Dr. Ferenc Vitéz
Metamorphosis: Spiritual reflection
David Beeri’s private collection of paintings in the Mysticism Gallery
It was one and a half year ago when David Beeri’s paintings (and graphics) were displayed at an independent exhibition area in the city centre. The Mysticism Gallery located in Bethlen Street based its artistic program on the mystical painter around the theme of “the irradiation of the spiritual light”.
The artist always has guests. These guests are music, literature, other artists, and other branches of arts. This year, for example, the art exhibition for the 60th birthday of Imre Kurucz sculpture artist has been organized, and until the end of May, the ceramic exhibition, which displays the works of six industrial artists, can be visited in the Gallery. (László Majoros, the leader of the gallery, explained his latest choice for the exhibition, and said that the fantasy created in the works of industrial arts well fits into the mystical and mysterious works of Beeri.) Besides the hips-ceramics made by Erzsébet B. Szabó, the works of Katalin Lovas and Péter Rácz mixing the secessionist form culture with archaized symbolic attributes, the works of Andrea Vertel, some grotesque-playful, coloured burnt clays occupy the place. (According to the plans, we can further enjoy the desacralized world of the latter artist originating from tales – her works are further staying in the gallery.)
The newest composition opened at the beginning of April is created based on the painting of Metamorphosis. The selected works are from the private collection of Gyula Tombor, who has been showing interests for Beeri’s painting since 1995. The collector explained why the paintings of David Beeri affected him so much, that, after the discovery of Metamorphosis, he became so inspired to consciously search for other works of art alike:
“It seemed that I entered into another world spiritually, where an inexpressible and marvellous light emerged from heaven which gave rebirth to hills and valleys to become immortal and irradiate the infinite fame of creation for eternity. Long minutes passed before I returned to my common world. My first thought was that I wanted this picture, I could not exist without it anymore…”
Since then, he has been continuously collecting Beeri’s works – he displayed more than thirty paintings from his private collection at this exhibition – and Gyula Tombor is (also) convinced that the art of David Beeri has a fundamental place in universal painting.
Ágoston Székely is also convinced, and as a critic and art writer does the most to make Beeri’s authentic and uniform world of creation understood and recognised. I have read in the representative album of Beeri, the publishing of which was scheduled at the time of the opening of the exhibition, that from the dualism of rebellion and atonement he rather chose the path of atonement for which choice he was supported by the willpower of the “inside man” who is being identified deeper and deeper with the divine experience. “The motives of David Beeri’s works after 1984 were only cherished by the sheer immaterial spiritual light. There is no opposition of this light, only degrees it has. The landscapes, the flowers, the faces this way appear as spiritual creatures without any traces and effects of counter power. In this pictorial world nothing reminds us of the movements of the material word, gravitation is the least of all, for example. The phenomena of this world follow the laws of their own spiritual force.” Although the paintings can be summons of distant worlds, depictions of visions or tales, the most important of all “is the resurrection of ancient mystic found in personal divine experience”. Székelyhidi also states that the authenticity of David Beeri is guaranteed by his inherent talent and his personal view rooted in the present time as well.
“He does not return to the medieval Christian religious motives of arts and aspects but as a man at the turn of the 20th and 21th century, he creates a new mystical art. He does not take over the history of the ancestors’ divine experience into the present time, but he makes his personal divine experience part of the mysticism of our time. That is why he is regarded as one of the founders of the new mystic by the contemporary artistic trends.”
I have also written a short essay to his smaller album about the radiation of the spiritual light. In this essay I recited keywords characterizing the art of Beeri: Simplicity and goodness. Honesty and directness. Self-awareness and humility. Verity. Hope. The light of love and peace. The painting is based on ancient, deep, archaic, and instinctive knowledge, and at the same time on the expression of the irradiation of a superior spiritual light. The instinctive and intellectual fields meet in the paintings of Beeri; being the ancient and the divine. In the eyes of female creatures we can both observe fear and hope, the pain of passing away and the miracle of impregnation, the holiness of birth. In his inner, visional landscapes the transcendent, mystical light paths are built on a magical realistic composition: they objectify the reality of imagination. From the metaphoric flowers of Beery, we can recognize the archaic picture of motherhood and a spiritual light. Earlier Ferenc Matits art historian highlighted that David Beeri masterfully synthetizing different styles, and renders the conclusion on the reminiscence of styles powerful in a unique, personal tone. He thinks in his art David mixes the greatest traditions of cubist, naïve, realist, and surrealist arts. David Beeri could find the expression spiritual impressionism itself, which could well reflect that unitedness in the diversity. Spiritual impressionism, however, could define the shades in which the irradiation of the spirit can be expressed, the relation between the artist and a superior existence. His paintings own some inner light. The paintings offer the visitors some kind of symbolic code to the spiritual transubstantiation. Transubstantiates the physical, visible world and in a paradox way, he has to use materialistic, physical, materiality tools for this. But his paintings “work”. Irradiate. But how can this light predominate and characterize at an exhibition where not the painter but from its point of view, in a certain way the displayed material chooses. Ágoston Székhelyhidi askes the same question at his opening speech in a way that in a multiple mirror reflection game how the taste, values,
and the aspects of the selection system of the collector characterize the art of David Beeri, respectively what the works of the artist tell about the spiritual characteristics of Gyula Tombor. To what extent does the subjective selection of the collector reflects the artistic world of Beeri independent from him? To a large extent, according to Székelyhidi, as he immediately grabbed the essence of Beeri’s art, then he collected his painting in the light of this. This is metamorphosis, it is not simply a transfiguration or transformation, but transubstantiation. The material motive ascends in spiritual environment. So, where is this light from? Maybe it is the light of the divine energy freed during the spiritual transubstantiation.