VISIONARY REVUE



THE WITCH'S SABBATH

      Four years later, Johfra executed his first version of The Witches’ Sabbath (1977). In its dynamic composition, countless human figures appear. Some, in the extreme foreground, are asleep. In a wave towards the right, these gradually awaken, reach forth, and arise. Other figures on the ground join hands and dance - all naked women celebrating the midnight sabbath. Eventually, these celebrants turn towards the right and, with a leap, begin to levitate - then take flight.
      Further back in the air, a white mass of swirling figures spiral higher into the heavens. These are joined by darker figures in the background - all mingle, mix, and unite into a gyre of human figures flying round the sole source of light in the darkness - the Horned God.



 
 
 


PARIS - SPRING 2003


THE CELEBRANTS

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to enlarge)

      This lone figure is counterbalanced by the celebrants in the left foreground. Here, ten naked women kneel round a cauldron and with sensual rapture explode in ecstatic trance. Above them, the bearded hierophant, naked except for his cape and bishops’ mitre, enjoins them all to rise up to Baphomet.
      A painting such as this seems a far cry from the Hermetic works - the Zodiac and Hermes Trismegistos - which Johfra had executed three years earlier. First of all, where all of these had a central composition and strong symmetry, this work is dynamic and contraposed. Where they were calm and stilled, this is moving and alive. Where they sought to direct the eye towards concentrated meditation; here the eye is invited to follow the spiralling dance, then fly up in ecstasy. Most of all, where the main figure of Hermes Trismegistos pointed with one hand upward and the other hand downward, here the Horned God dramatically gestures with both hands downward. It is only the celebrants who raise their hands in adoration of him.




 
 
 


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