VISIONARY REVUE

ET MON PETITDEJEUNER? (1969)

DAPHNE (1966)

      And slowly, these classical figures began to invade his Mindscapes. Now, more traditional monsters such as griffons and winged horses appear in the foreground of what was, otherwise, a growing organic amalgam of telluric vegetation. More fascinating still, classical nudes could also be found, now reclining in the foreground of these otherwise chaotic inscapes.
      During the Alpes Maritimes years, the classical nudes also increased in their erotic quality. Though Daphne (1966) still portrays a mythic subject, the woman’s figure is more modern than classical. Her arching back and exposed breasts invite the eye’s appreciation and the mind’s caress.
      The most interesting image to emerge during this time is, in fact, Johfra’s own Self Portrait (1965). He is now 46 years of age, and crossing over the threshold of mid-life. The conception of the image is classical: its triangular composition with the collars forming the base of the triangle and his eye at its apex, Johfra is seeing himself in the tradition of the Netherlandish masters such as Van Eyck. The landscape with aerial perspective, meanwhile, harkens back to Da Vinci.
      Only one small detail - the scarab beetle with its ball of dung in the foreground - implies a more symbolic aspect. Has he placed there a symbol of rebirth to indicate his hopes for renewal after death? Or does it indicate instead that he has just emerged now - at this point in his life - from a moment of self-renewal?
      In any case, the Self Portrait marks a new step in his life quest through painting. Though the artist had already portrayed himself countless times as a


 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003

minor figure in the midsts of some Drummel or Mindscape, this was the first time he had rendered himself clearly and self-consciously, without self-facing humour.
      The mindstuff mirrored in his works, we might say, has now assembled itself into a clear, well-defined image of himself as artist in the tradition of the old masters. His identity is established, and the work mirrors his mind’s gaze unto itself, as the source, creator, artist, and indeed, master of that gaze.


SELF-PORTRAIT (1965)
(Zelfportret)



 
 
 


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