VISIONARY REVUE

      Towards the end of the 60’s, Johfra and Ellen built a slightly larger hut in the Alpes Maritimes, this time from stone rather than wood. In this new home, warmer and somewhat larger, he began a new kind of painting which took form, most noticeably, in The Guardian of the Pearl (1971). The Mindscape is still there with its strange telluric forms growing on either side. The mountains and seas inspired by the Alpes Maritimes are also present in the distance. But now, the landscape has become populated by numerous minute figures in ever-constant movement - dancing, singing, celebrating. Some are drummels, others more human - all participate in a monstrous parade of human folly and vanity.
      The explosion of figures here evokes the earlier works of Bosch and, more accurately, of Bruegel. With the central figure who beholds the pearl, a kind of allegory emerges. Though our eye is invited to roam, scan and wander over the thousand amusing diversions and distractions, it is also invited to fix its gaze at the centre and, like the wise old man, contemplate the pearl.
      A canvas such as this is the first in an ever-increasing series where human figures multiply into huge masses of detailed figures. A new and important theme is announced. If the canvas is a mirror of the mind, then we see that the artist has now fixed his gaze onto humanity as a whole. The first of the ‘Infinite Figure’ paintings is attained.



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

PEARL GUARDIAN (1971)
(De behoeder van de parel)

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      As the sixties came to a close, the number of Hermetic works increased. In part, this was due to the fact that these works were ordered as commissions, both in the form of illustration and painting. But, Johfra obviously delighted in these commissions, integrating them in his own quest for spiritual transformation.



 
 
 


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