“The Path” is a theme which encompasses the entirety of Petro Bevza's creative heritage, defining the unity of different cycles, stages, projects. The Path is the infinity which is interwoven with a person's mortal life, pours like a spring somewhere before his birth, and does not end after death; it is a throughout movement that gives communion with eternity or cosmicality. Time fades into eternity, space disappears in cosmicality, and only in earthly reality can both exist in a perceivable material dimension and in a tangible passage of time.
An acute perception of the very moment of life itself is born of a paradoxicality of combinations, a moment which is on the boundary between seen and unseen, momentary and eternal, bound to a certain point in space, to a certain situation, and absolutely free in the dimension of the open cosmos. Creativity is in the very act of realization of this paradox, creativity opens the gates to a fascination and enamourment, a perception with the entire body and soul of such a wondrous world, to which a person comes into, and the even more wondrous world which she herself is. A human being is itself a border between unknown worlds, thin and vulnerable fleshy husk tuned to be a membrane between different vibrations.
It is not given to everyone, but the happy chosen, who have recognized themselves as thus, listen to the pulsing rhythm of touches and replies. Petro Bevza is part of this small circle. His art convincingly testifies of his deep, philosophical, and interested attitude towards a life filled with events and the silence of contemplation.
The flight of the bumblebee, the track of a snail in the sand, the dance of shadows from a sunlit grape leaf – humongous hillsides of grass, landscape spirals, nerve connections of communications – all of these phenomena are not torn into opposites, but molded as mutually supplemental by the master in his art. On his canvas, in his surroundings, in his installations, the artist works as looking for a solution to a personally important problem – how to adapt this world, a given from the moment one is born, a law unto one's self, how to accept it, how to make it one's own in one's inner precepts. He carefully examined each trifles to see – mayhap, it is a key to occult knowledge or to what can be defined as “happiness,” a state of inner grace and light.
Tracks, little stones, blossoms become part of a painting in such a way that they can be looked at from all sides, and asked again and again about their mystery. Mountains, roads, sands – not so passing as flowers, but, as they change, they keep their forms for thounsands of years... We feel the patulous unhurried dialogue, questions and a request for an answer for anything touched by the master's eye. It seems that everything happens exactly like that when the canvas's paint conveys vestiges of these dialogues.
Should we think here of the masterful craftsmanship of the painting, of the harmony of the composition, of the concordance of colors? Possibly, but there is a feeling, that all of these things were given to the painted for the effort of a creative state of the soul, when the hand and intuition themselves lead, knowing better than the deliberate choice of the mind.
The milestones of the “way” in the artist's paintings are opened by his early works: “Dad and I,” “On the Crossroads.” The first manifests a self-understanding as a part of the power called “homeland,” the strength which gives a beginning to life, which protects and leads out into the wide world. Steps hand in hand with the father give certainty in one's gestures, a total trust in the one who leads. Petro Bevza was lucky to have an example of a great, good, and strong person, and the world around him as a child wrapped him in love and beauty. The corresponding attunement to an honest perception of reality is up until now felt in everything created by Petro Bevza – as a painter, curator, poet... The sonority and tenderness of the colors in “Dad and I” will, in future paintings, strengthen movingly or, conversely, hide like the mystery of the truth of a soul that does not want to demonstrate itseld.
Reality surrounded the young artist, lonely in his self-sufficiency, with rigid and cold ridges. This life-changing and fateful moment is reflected in the work “On the Crossroads.” The year is 1987 – art school with its unhurried school and endless talks in artists' studios. Now he must move forward on his own. The time of thoughts is a long stop on the Lvivska Ploscha, usually a favorite place for meetings over coffee, now – devoid of people. And the sharp homelessness emanated from the empty trolley bus, which is (in the painting) going the wrong way, the opposite way. Everything is at the same time familiar and illogical, the city landscape gives off a feeling of metaphysical mystique, and the soul of the hero holds a dark abyss.
The search for one's own life path and creative path coincide with the search for one's own self. It is a painful transition to something new. The decisive moment of challenge – to fate, to the world, to one's own capabilities – found a way of expression in the artist's work titled “Vita.” The search for possibilities destroys stereotypes, demolishes the walls of familiar restrictions, webs of thick warnings. Only in this way, by making an unbeatable challenge in a moment of desperation and winning the right to live through colossal efforts – the right to live fully, to breathe freely, not holding back desires, allowing oneself to realize inner potentialities – only in this way can a person break out of the power of the unreal world, and enjoy the fruits of his Promethean labor.
What was in the artist's life then, what lived in his soul? Trials awaited him – mandatory service in the Soviet army, in MIA forces. The fates of other people passed before the painter's eyes – in prison, behind bars. He dreamt of this horror for a year after being done with the service. “Art saved my life,” Ptero remember. Those strong, real impressions received form in his novella “Convoy.” Success found the author immediately – Ivan Drach invited him to courses for screenwriters. Eventually, the novella grew into a screenplay, and then into a movie. Then there was a new screenplay, where everything was agreed on before filming, but the out of sync diversity of art intentions in the film crew cooled the enthusiasm of the young master. He left the cinema's “palette,” and returned to painting. He wanted to speak about the tragedy and strength of those who went through the Afghanistan war, about the faith of young people who were close, so close, close enough for the pain of amputation and the pain of a wounded soul could be felt as one's own. “Vita” and other paintings of the “Return from Afghanistan” cycle are dedicated to this very ability to conquer pain, to obtain the right to live a real life through battle.
New dimensions of the human being's inner worlds began to be felt by the artist in the beginning of the 1990s. It was then that the “Way” series of paintings was born – a new perception of the realities of life was born on fog-crowned Carpathian peaks. Between the white fields of days does a person's path in life pass, and in the middle of it is an abyss that holds unseen and unknown layers of the deep. This flow of inner mysterious energies leads one to cosmic dimensions, which are perceived as the ultimate priority – to dissolve in the unfathomable. In the works of Petro Bevza, this movement of interaction between the earthly and the cosmic can be felt as equal in both directions – from Earth to … and back again, when the cosmic ocean spills over in strong streams between the bright planes of today, between what a person accepts as real every second.
The painting “Way III” works as a tuning fork for the works of the cycle, different versions of “The Path.” The path of inner ascension can lay between the burning fields of emotion, aflame with passion, between the snowy silence of the highlands, to which one is lifted by the carefree spirit of contemplation. What is the landscape drawn by the author – the snowy ridge of Carpathian mountains under the moonlight, or the landscape of spiritual ascension, where everything gravitates towards light? This light can be perceived speculatively or truly felt overhead, it can unfold like a sacred veil over someone of the Christian faith.
It is very symbolic that Petro Bevza wrote a series of works titles “Way.” Entwining vision and movement, the way penetrates the space of matter. The artist bases his landscape on reality: a black road amidst white snow in the Carpathians; a beaten rut among spring fields full of passion and wetness. The artist dissolves in the landscape and returns to himself from the seen, for, as Paul Cezanne said, “nature is within us.” The desolate landscape is intense with the spiritual presence of a human being, the light of the soul takes the form of the landscape. In this mutual intromission, the picture passes beyond three dimensions.
Paint in the works of Petro Bevza is not paint as is – it holds other things within itself except the pigment, it is a reference to some object, emotion, thought, mental image. The color is a front for the metaphysical dimension, privy to the author's inner (psychical, spiritual) life . Furthermore, the author does not want to express himself, but rather to tune us into the perception of personal experience, which becomes a single gulf in the panhuman ocean of what has been comprehended by the mind and what is beyond the mind.
This is why his “Road to the Sea” does not merely carry the light touch of a breeze, not only slosh with close waters, but really feels like the presence of something really big, unfathomable, very near – but beyond sight. One can feel to be a tiny grain of sand in this closeness to the sea, but even those grains of sand are worth a lot, for they make possible the very existence of the huge body of water framed by low-sloped shores.
For the artist, it is as interesting to look at the surroundings from the smallest height as from the highest mountains. It seems to be easy for him to become a yielding tumbleweed, moved by the lightest waft of wind. Or to imagine how a spider of chicken sees the world – what pattern of colors do they see, what weave of lines. How not to remember the famous Taoist parable: "Once upon a time, I, Chuang Tzu, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. I was conscious only of following my fancies as a butterfly, and was unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly, I awoke, and there I lay, myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming that I am now a man. This is what is called the transformation of things, since there are certainly differences between me, Chuang, and the butterfly."
Petro Bevza really wants to convince the viewer that his works are no dream, not the visualization of thoughts or emotions, but are an independent and self-sufficient reality. Maybe this is why the artist encumbers the paintings' canvases with material, tridimensional things, which create different, touchable textures. To his paint, he adds a crumbling mass of thyrse, sand, bits of straw. By giving advice to the layers of color, natural materials birth a new, strong, unbreakable reality.
The artist especially carefully, movingly creates the firmament. The dependability of such an unerringly trustworthy foundation can be felt in his works. Mayhap, this is the way the inner axis in the spiritual world of the master, the collected forces of his life, close in density to a structured mass of stone, manifests itself. We can think about the power of the name “Petro,” which means stone, or about fulfilling that which has been chosen from birth. And this will not be empty speculation, for the artist consciously builds his life as a coherent work of art, where everything matters. And he also listens to those impulses that could be the thoughts of God.
Landscapes in Petro Bevza's work are more than mere depictions of nature. A symbol of the world's beauty shines through them. This is not easy, though as simple as a simple truth. For a feeling of chaos, that familiar chaos which seems to exist on its own, dominates in communication with every day life. And order is that which requires the efforts of a person – in creation, in vision, in a belief that it exist. This is why beauty requires efforts, and a courageous choice to struggle for it. And finding it is always surprising.
On the next step of the way, the painter explores landscapes as autonomous beings, who were before humanity, and may exist without it. This landscape does not want to welcome the traveler with open expanses, does not wait for admiration, but it can open itself and allow a person to enter. Sight involves walking around to see the object from all sides. There is not enough physical sight that can see far and wide. So the artist gives a speculative position that summarizes what we can see and what we know, visual experience and tactile experience, the experience of memory-knowledge.
The great panoramic “Landscapes” of Petro Bevza remind of XIX century stereographic photo landscapes, where landscapes were presented as if there was no author, no photographer-artist behind them, as if they were objective natural phenomena. But we do not see classical, three-dimensional panoramas. Here, everything is measured by a bird's eye view – a view at the same time wide and close to the particularities of every bit of matter.
Sometimes the forms of the landscape are perceived from different viewpoints. The author does not use the familiar composition built according to the laws of Renaissance direct perspective, but he summarizes different views and positions, as characteristic of master Chinese painters of the Middle Ages. The very length of the horizontal scrolls is easily seen as analogous to the forms of Petro Bevza's “Theodosics.”
The “Theododics” cycle was created under influence from the landscapes of eastern Crimea, the great spaces near Theodosia. When thinking about what he had lived through, the artist felt that he was a witness of theophania – the objectivation of God through manifestation in creation. An important aspect of theophania is the creativity of the very physical world. As Lev Karsavin noted, theophania is not an act made solely by God, “it is one act of two subjects: God, who pours himself into his creation, and the creation, which accepts God into itself.” Human and nature alike are both active in the manifestation of God, and are parts of the universal unity.
The works of Petro Bevza, though their contemplativeness and unhurried meditative sojourn in the middle of a landscape, are related to classical works of Eastern art of the “mountains and waters” genre, which equal icons in communion with the powers above, with the protosources, with the Tao. His way of working with color is also close: a limited palette, work with tones, creation of a united color aura. As when long ago master Wang Wei first felt the possibility to show the breath of the world's onebodiness through a pulsation in depicting the light and the dark, Yin and Yang, now our artist does not divide mountains, sky, and earth in their long defined, familiar colors, they all come from the golden ocherous suggestion of color, which accumulates and becomes the ruddy brown fissure of a precipice, or attains the thinned out existence of space in the heights of the heavens.
But there is an essential difference between the works of Petro Bevza and ancient Chinese art – the monumental sizes, which actively fill the space of the showroom. Bevza's “Landscapes” require serious physical efforts to move; it is impossible to easily furl them into scrolls and put them to a new act of secluded communication, as was the habit of connoisseurs of art by Chinese masters.
“Landscapes” are written in a range of colors reminiscent of earth, clay, warm sunshine – the kind that does not burn or scorch, but instead warms deeply. Clay is the most ancient material the human being has worked in, beginning from the Neolithic epoch. There are ceramic items that hold a long history within themselves, a history thousands of years long; they are rough, real, irreplaceable in the household, and sacred. Clay has been used from the beginning of time to make walls, as well, and is so subconsciously perceived as something that is saturated with the warmth of life, and that brings something which offers portection. Lastly, it holds a feeling of history, long, endless, carved not only in works by human hands, but in the very landscape where the human being lives. In every touch to a piece of clay we are faced with a mythical past which has become material for new creations.
Petro Bevza places the landscape in a museum as a work of art formed by the long culture of human life in nature. “I am certain that the environment and our way of life in it is our heritage,” the master says. Within this attitude, a new philosophy of the wholeness of culture of Ukrainian land comes into being, a philosophy in which there are variants, a diversity, but such a diversity that does not destroy the unity, which is present as a continental platform that holds everything – the organic world of the human being, in concert with the world of nature, with the landscape of the Earth.
According to Martin Heidegger, the ancient Greek temple “depicts nothing” and at the same time “collects around itself a unity of ways and connections,” the “space of power” of which is the “light of the people in its historic performance.” For our artist, not the handmade temple, but nature as the handiwork of God is the center of gravitation.
Through such an understanding of the relationship between the human being, nature, and history, Petro Bevza manages to convey how the relationship to the world of the nation as a whole, that formed human community, with all of its assets of spiritual and material culture, which have a fixed existence on the geographic map of the world, in the natural and social environment. The master does not attempt to create some kind of “cohesive portrait of an epoch,” he works to create his own vision of the world, but it includes quite a lot.
The landscape is something that is collected in a certain way. It flows like a river, it has fountains, and the connection between different parts. The higher layers are fickle, live, and are the most subject to interaction with human beings; they cannot be preserved, and thus need to be recorded in the art of painting as a changing stage, as an explosion of beauty, as instant light. Art becomes a witness.
Sometimes the reality on the canvas is presented as closely as possible, like the surface of a hill or field on which you lie, watching unhurriedly. At the same time the artist forces you into a panoramic view, as if giving you wings and the ability to fly. Then the length of the road or the scratch-work trace of a path opens before your very eyes. The etches of roads appeal to the phenomenon of memory, which provokes us to hold the entire possible sum of knowledge at hand at once, all of its threads like fateful lines on the palm.
The art of Petro Bevza does not attempt to heal historic wounds or compensate for culture lost. On the contrary, conceptualizing the current as something beyond time, the artist gives the right to be completely happy outside of any past choice of fate, to own every achievement of culture and history at the same time, though deep prospecting tunnels in the inner memory of human being and landscape alike.
When the artist sets up his earthworks, he turns the surroundings into a single space of art, where everything becomes part of the artwork. The object introduced by the artist strengthens the real world, and allows it to manifest its essence. The search for a common tongue with the surroundings, an exit beyond the “nature VS technological civilization” conflict zone gives the discovery of new or forgotten ways of co-creation with nature, concordant sounds of creative energies.
The “Nebulae” cycle of Petro Bevza seems to warn the viewer from excessive self-assuredness in that everything in life and art can be measured by the power of logic. The painted “Nebulae” of the master have dedications, but do not have explanations. They are a tribute to the memory of those who have already gone into the celestial worlds, having received the “promised nebula,” replete with corpuscles of a soulful light. Or the nebula can be the ideal hideaway for the soul of a person that is alive, creative, inspired – a connection with one's own nebula can give the strength to not betray one's own self and high destiny. In any case, a “Nebula” is an expression of the author's love to someone close – through birth or family, through spirit, through creative work.
In these works, a poetry saturated with mystique lives. Their attraction is due to a feeling of something special and personal, mysterious, beyond which something that has no image can be seen, and voices that have no sound can be heard. In opposition to the abyss-soul, Bezna creates a metaphor of the nebula-soul, in which there are either scattered sparks of lights or, on the contrary, light-bearing stars and planets, which fill the emptiness of space, are concentrated.
The search for explanations is dedications leaders the viewer not so much to certainty in the symbolism of a particular color, but instead more tunes to the feeling that the world is filled with correspondences, that all phenomena, things, and events are connected to each other and can point from one to another. The mission of the artist is not only to be a theurge - to create new worlds, but to “tune” the cosmic musical instrument that allows to hear the “music of the spheres,” to distinguish the calls of melodies, to encompass the fullness of an orchestral sound.
It is naturally possible to find other explanations for Bevza's “Nebulas.” The symbol is a symbol exactly because it does not allow for a single interpretation: “We can know only phenomena and can think only about the visible; the truth in itself slips away from us; essence is unreachable. I do not see what is; there is only that which I see. There are as many different worlds as there are thinking people.” The symbol can hold subjective perceptions and experiences.
When we look at the painted works of the mater as a single spiritual canvas, we can come to the conclusion that Petro Bevza seems to rather try to transcend subjectivity than to put forward solipsism as a life philosophy. He is close to the “classical” unity of the sensual and the ideal, when truth exists objectively and is synonymous to beauty, meaning that it manifests in the sensual form of bodily, and, at the same time, a spiritual beauty.
The “classical” stance of the master is most obvious in his early works, which appeal more to the reality as seen by the naked eye, where figurativism is preserved, where there are acting heroes even though there is no actions. “Family,” “Twilight,” “In the Grape Yard,” “Near Grandma” - these works do not require neither explanation nor any kind of serious efforts to understand their subject. The beauty of the world manifests in sincere relationships, in the uniting of people through the magnetism of love, in harmony with nature, in the reliability of the world order.
It can be felt through his art that the author does not want to take over the world. The self-sentiment of a person here rests of the desire to find an understanding with others, and t naturally become a part of the environment, a harmonic part that cannot be broken away.
The person seems to dissolve in the world of beauty; her soul does not allow the pain of impact with everyday collisions, but instead feels the majestic harmony of existence and easily gives itself to these ocean waves. But the inner passage “out of bounds” does not destroy the stable form of existence in real time and space. Corporeality does not inhibit, but, contrarily, seems to help feel the bliss of being in two dimensions at once. The second is known thanks to the first, corporeality helps value pure spirituality.
Mutual understanding, openness and trust, the energy of the heart's love, when given by those we hold dear, can make the entire world a home where happiness reigns. The “Kiddie” cycle unfurls this topic of family through the image of the woman. The woman's image is associated with the grand spaces of the heavens, with the image of a mountain, or the river, of the image of time and that which is felt like falling out of time.
In the next works of the master, corporeality gradually loses all outer covers. Nakedness is perceived as extreme openness, a full trust to the outside world, to look, to touch. The artist does not idealize the bodily form, it is interesting precisely as is – natural, capable of giving birth and nurture. The women's body is presented in Bevza's work without either classical canons of beauty or artificial glamorousness. Corporeality is self-sufficient, and delivered from the stage.
In “The Reality of the Woman” there is an expression of bodily existence beyond its personal drawing. It looks like the artist is not so interested in the manners, gestures, poses of habit, but in the comprehension of something stable for each person in his or her bodily form – their natural substance, the element held back by corporeal form. This nature holds and the element of water, and the element of fire, and the flow of energies. His works are devoid of excessive psychology. It would have given something very particular, something that would have obscured holistic existence. The artist does not show incident, but the structure, manifestations of something essential.
Afterwards, in the artist's later works, energies of desire spring up around the naked body and within it, streams of libido swirl around and around, and the magnetism of seduction is born. The master wraps both the body and the space around it in orange color, so that it could serve as a background for the lightning streams of the energies of love. Female physicality provokes one to feel the eternal and unconquered creative sexual energies that fill the world, that renew the world.
The sensual perception of femininity in the works of Petro Bevza is united with another position – with the feeling of the sophic source. The creative energy that is an intermediary between God and humankind, that inspires to poetic highlights and even opens the veil of extra sensory percetption was interpreted in religious philosophy and praised by the Symbolist poets in the image of Eternal Womanhood, or Sophia, the Wisdom of God.
The artist comes upon Sophic symbols several times on his Way. His communication with them became a recurring theme in his work. It seems like the master, by looking at esoteric signs given to him by Nature herself, receives a reply to an important question posed by religious philosophy. Eugene Troubetzkoy formulated it in the following manner: “The question of whether the human being has the empirics of the Absolute or not, whether the Universal Unity is truly revealed to the human being or not, is a concrete ontological question, which can be posed and solved only within the context of the metaphysics of the Absolute as a whole. In the end, this is not just a question of the interaction of two planes of being, but a question whether the human being has a relationship with the Absolute, and an intimate, inner relationship at that; for the consciousness of the Absolute can be opened to the human being only if the Absolute or the Universal Unity becomes the very essence of life for him, if the humane unites with the absolute into one inseparable, organic whole.”
The first step towards a feeling of the real existence of another dimension – a metaphysical, extrasensory dimension – for Petro Bevza was one incident in the Carpathian mountains, where, one sunny morning, he saw a branch sticking out of the white snows, a branch that cast no shadow. A real, completely material thing was suddenly as if becoming unreal. The “White Shadow” in his painting became the result which could have been attained only with a certain spiritual attunement – the desire to find confirmation to something that was already speculatively understood. A wondrous experience of visualization of something invisible by its very nature.
“The Reality of the White Shadow” gives a rendition of light in different perceptions of it – through matter and without it. If we look for analogies to this in art, we can remember the mosaics of Ravenna, where, in the Sant'Apollinare Nuovo church, the images of the Christian martyrs give a feeling of incorporeality and do not cast shadows. In light of the purity of Christian notions, such a vision was understandable and provoked no questions.
Petro Bevza's work “The Reality of a Child's Dream” provokes meditations on the essence of the human being. A human is born in a white space, which symbolizes the unseen and eternal flow of energy. The white line creates an anthropomorphic outline, reminiscent of a newborn. The layer is thinnest in the middle of the form. It does not overlay, but merely stresses the structure of the canvas, which comes into existence through the intersections of the vertical and the horizontal. The form of the cross, which symbolizes the union of the physical and the spiritual, is not accentuated, but is present in the foundation of the very fabric of the canvas.
Petro Bevza can be characterized by his attraction to the sign, the hieroglyph, the letter. The plastique of his painting is connected with the script, the “clean slate” of culture, through subconscious currents. Noogenesis happens through the graphical sign, and comes to know itself through the art of life.
“Sign of the Fibula,” “Sign of the Earth,” “Sign of the Fire”... All of them give structured arrays of symbolic signs, which constitute a separate world as a whole. We can imagine an unfurling of ritual actions around them. Signs provoke the onlooker to feel the passion of the mysterium that puts him into a certain state; they as if initiate a collective act.
Signs work as a structure of collective memory. The reality of ritual, the reality of the mysterium helps transgress the “bridge” from transitory life to some other life. At the same time, they help in not disappearing entirely in this “other,” but, conversely, give the possibility to feel both the world surrounding us and our inner world, and maybe, for the first time, understand the order of their hierarchy. Because of signs, a human being can live through an experience to remold him or her into a new person, one which he or she was previously not. The form of the sign gives an entrance to a reality that exists on its own, and is holistic.
“Signs” symbolize memory as the necessary condition for the union of moments. Succession, the bindle of connections, is etched into them. These forms in their stability give birth to meaning; a person creates new meanings as perceiving them. Without communication with them, a thought may not be born. They provoke, nudge forward, know no respite until a new interpretation is born – or maybe something completely different from them, but wrought into life by this swarm of thoughts.
“The Sign of Earth” is like an open wound, a fiery body in the midst of it, surrounded by a black abyss, and all around it rises the haze of smokes, herbs, aromas... “The Boat-Sign” floats past the eyes of memory, as if a majestic abandoned boat frozen amidst endless dead plains, lost somewhere in the tenets of eternity. “The Ash Sign” rhymes with “The Sign of the Fibula,” and is reminiscent of the early Middle Ages, of the “Dark Ages” with their struggles and campaigns. And the ashes are reminiscent of the phrase by St. Remigius, a cleric that said, when consecrating the Merovingian kind Clovis into the Christian faith: “Adore that which once thou hast burned: burn that which thou hast adored!”
Or maybe the artist meant something completely different... The “Signs” are more like hieroglyphic questions than answers.
In creating a language of symbols, the artist cannot help but think of the problem of an adequare reading, or at least of the desire of the viewer to understand, even though, when communing with a painting, simple visual pleasure is enough. Even in verbal communication we do not communicate mere meaning to each other. “The Corridor of Communication” is a cycle of paintings in which the artist thinks of such important questions as conversation, mutual understanding, the power of the media, the role of new communicative technologies... And first of all, these are painted reflections on language itself, language as the “third” through which “I” and the “Other” are open to each other as personalities. The possibility to express inner states through a search for their name, word, image, is an essential part of self-awareness. The verbalization or visualization help in not only widening the possible zone of interaction, but help others perceive one's own self as well.
Language as one of the elements, like that which allows individual reflections to give birth to super-individual knowledge. And inversely, language as a way to aggregate a person to the super-individual mentality. The role of technology in this process is significant, since it can incredibly strengthen the sound of one saying through replication, transmission, through the world of the Internet. It seems that technology can not only help, but tries to impose certain forms of communication and action, even a purpose. Gadgets as if become a prt of the human body, penetrate one's flesh and soul. Technology is conquering the metaphysical dimensions; its methods, its tenets are higher than the world of physical realities.
When we look at works from this cycle, we are once again convinced that the media have a disproportionate influence on the consciousness of the modern human being. In the paintings of the master, powerful waves catch and suck into vortex-spirals; in a similar fashion, an overload of information grows into a feeling of total storms, invincible interference. But the two poles of the headphones are not only the source of sounds, but their cordons, great obstructions that absorb the gurgling of sound waves.
Despite all of its attunement towards the human ear and eye, informational garbage does not touch neither our consciousness nor our feelings, and does not enter the our inner world. Once again and again, like in the old times, one can feel the heartbeat of another, and this rhythm reaches us through the the live word of the speaker. Language speaks of an openness to the “Other,” of being able to communicate one's own self. And also, as Martin Heidegger said, “language speaks through me,” with all of its many thousand year old history.
Language, embodied in the world, is a film, which unfolds in time. And visual language rules the space beyond time. Plastique signs sprout like landmarks on the path of search for ontological bases. The artist attempts to master reality, creating its sign as the “Sign of the Road.” It is a bright lightning erupting from the dark brown continent-mass. It is a symbol of what is hidden beneath layers of outer covers. The road creates an existential feeling of time that unites the past, the future, and the eternal.
The road, in truth, was of great importance in the life and creative experience of the master. The first creative journey through Europe in 1996 allowed him to feel his strengths in painting. Together with colleagues and kindred spirits Oleskiy Lytvynenko and Petro Lebedynets, Petro Bevza took a ride in a car filled with paintings to Luxembourg, where he had a successful exhibition in the Tutesall Modern Art Gallery. Luxembourg became a key to open the special aroma of modern European culture, which ever-so-naturally unites ancient history and high-tech aesthetics. This is a uniquely beautiful city in old mountains, with picturesque parks and uncustomarily spacious squares of the city center, hailing from the Middle Ages, and is reminiscent of Kyiv, which also gives its best places to parks, by its hedonistic outlook towards everyday life.
Then the road led on to the French Riviera, to Nice, where the artists participated in the Salon International D`ART Contemporain, NICEXPO. They presented great painted canvases, received a “compliment” for the best exposition, and could feel themselves in a new context for the first time – were able to compare, analyze, and gain a sureness in that they are “not worse” than others. The most stupefying part was when they received the jury's Honor prize, that provided them with the possibility to present an exhibition in Paris, in the prestigious Robin-Leadouze gallery, situated near the Champs Elysees, on the Avenue Matignon. In 1997, this exhibition was opened by the Ukrainian Ambassador to France, Mykola Kochubei.
The journey of 1996 was continues by an exhibition in the Cannes, and visits to cities of Southern France – Antibes, Lyon, Dijon, Avignon... Impressions went in powerful waves. The Matisse Museum in Nice, the Picasso Museum and the works of de Staël in Antibes, the absence of borders between countries and a feeling of complete freedom of travel. Fresh impressions from communicating with original works in museums and galleries, a feeling of being part of one creative movement. This powerful stream brought our artists to Geneva, where they had the opportunity to show their works at the International Academy of Environment.
Petro Bevza will return to Switzerland in 2001, having received a grant from the Arts Council of Switzerland, Pro Helvetia. This was aided by a realization of earthworks: “White Shadow,” “God Forbid,” “Therrapy.” The idea of the expositional object “Heritage” (“Ovid”) found a manifestation first in the canvas “Gremin-Brama,” then in space – in a virtual project for the Kyiv Pectoral Gallery, and finally as a real huge project at the Fourth International Festival of Art at the Ukrainian House. Earthworkds “God Preserve” and “Therrapy” unfurled in the Tadiivka village in Kyivska Oblast, when rusty parts of agricultural machinery was painted - “renewed” and “immortalized” by Petro Bevza and Oleksiy Lytvynenko, places with artistic taste and yet naturally in the empty fields. These and other projects, dedicated to the renewal of the power of the earth and earthly labor, in the works of Petro Bevza, Oleksiy Lytvynenko, Mykola Malyshko, were majestically unfolded in the halls of the Soros Center of Contemporary Art, the halls of the National Artist's Union as the “Transition' exhibition, which had a wide resonance.
Petro Bevza and Oleksiy Lytvynenko brought the “Lybid” project to Biel-Bjen, where the earthworks showed the history of a river legendary from the time of Kyiv Rus, which was shown by the artists in its flow from clean springs to the dirty ditch of today. The project received high praise in Switzerland, where there attitude towards living nature seems to be even more loving and careful than to buildings, where the center of the country is seen as the great spaces of the cerulean waters of Lake Geneva, the shores of which are all decorated with flowering bushes and green laws. Even the high mountains, as if covered by a blue mist, seem to have been ennobled by the human being, and are integrated into the city landscapes like a majestic sculpture, bringing the fresh breath of the snows and high skies into the city.
In the “Sophic Symbols” cycle of works by Petro Bevza, the sky is seen like an eternal sign of culture. The sky in the paintings is given as a catharsis. The artist needs it to be a symbol of spirituality, like a tuning fork for the perception of visible or depicted abstract reality. It is above and it is in the very substance of what is earthly, it is inside the human. The artist allows himself and the viewer to touch celestial flesh. But even when feeling the blueness on the tips of our fingers, we feel how it flows away into the deep of the canvas, beyond the canvas, and into reality.
When looking at the work of the master “A Walk with the Son. Sky,” Heidegger's thoughts come to mind: “In the midst of all that is an open place comes to presence. There is a clearing. Thought from the perspective of entities, this clearing has more being than entities do. This open center is therefore not surrounded by what is; rather, the clearing center itself encircles all that is, like the nothing which we scarcely know.”
Depictions of openings often appear in Petro Bevza's paintings. His cycle “The Gates of Heaven” is like this. The author probably has an inner necessity to define for himself the form of that thin edge of the passage from one state to another. Sometimes the gates are in the form of an arch, the idea of which, according to F. Noack, is tied to archaic beliefs: passage through it was perceived to be a remission of sins through rebirth. The artist uses the archetype of the arch as the symbol of a “window” to spiritual reality.
The composition of paintings of this cycle is usually built of asymmetry, and the role of the pause is especially palpable in them. The movement to the desired exit is slowed, constrained either by the corporeality of the humpbacked figures, or by the chasms and the advancement of the layers of paint in their color dynamic. The line scratched in the layer of paint makes the movement of the eye even more difficult with its blundering, creates labyrinths and dead-end angles. The movement to the depth of the “light gap” is held by the inequitable waves of pleasure. “Violet Night on the Sand,” “Egyptian Nights” - they pulse with the sweet languor of earthly nights, when the soul flies freely and without restraint into self-forgetfulness, and then once again dives into the sensuous, fleshly, material.
When you look at the works of the artist more, you become even more impressed by how filled all of the plastique means are with symbolism. When our eye first comes upon them, it it simply takes pleasure in the effects of well composed color, the contrast of figures, and the likeness to smooth enamel, the clear degree of structure and the unexpectedly free run of lines. A long conversation brings into the open other levels placed into the work by the artist, culture, nature, and God.
The painting is like a cell of a big organism: in it, every element is tied by blood and life to something bigger. This is why, in every interpretation, the painting always leaves itself the right to desire to gain and widen its meaning. The distance between that which has been defined, what is understood, and the syncretism of feelings that are hard to verbalize does not frighten, but instead attracts through its inexhaustibility.
A turn to the tradition of icon painting does not seem strange in the unfurling of Petro Bevza's Road, because religion provides the foundation for self-building, for ceaseless and tireless self-creation. Religious forms collect and condense the efforts of the human being to near to what is true in him or herself, to God within the heart, to the light within the physical shell.
From its very beginnings, Christianity was the religion of individuality, of individual salvation, even with all of the forms its conciliar nature takes, and its direction towards equality, brotherhood, and spiritual unity. The human being manifests godliness throughout him or herself, but this happens only to the extent of his or her efforts and aspirations. Only through personal experience can knowledge that has seemingly drowned in the deep of the soul be gained, and which are the tracks of meetings with God, his eternity, with his presence in today's world.
And up until today the art of the icon is truly “relevant art.” The icon accompanies the human being from birth to death, it is a witness of the most intimate prayers and confessions, The art of the icon is relevant, for it supports life and faith alike, and gives an understanding of ever-changing events as a sensible whole.
But the icon is not usually everpresent, from morning until night, before our inner or physical sight. We come to it at important moments, and it helps us make a transition or even a jump into other dimensions of the life of the soul. The transitional nature of mundane time gives birth to one rhythm, and being beyond time births another. The alternation of these periods does not disturb the holistic fabric our our existence, where everything has meaning. Daily life entraps us, and the person, against his or her will, “falls out” of the acquired majestic peace of existence, steps beyond the timeless, and into the streambed of active events. He or she has a hope and need to return, and that – to both dimensions, to both steams. You feel truly alive transcending boundaries and defeating borders.
When creating the images of the “Crucifiction,” “Vernicle,” the image of the “Mater Dei”, Petro Bevza breaks the canon and writes the well-known stories not on a golden background that symbolizes the emanation of celestial light, but on a striped background of colorfully alternating open colors. This background was “swiped” by the artist from the color composition of village rugs, hand woven and sewn by the village women right at home. The scared is thus placed on the very mundane, earthly, on that which is literally underfoot. But on the other hand, we can interpret these needleworks as symbolizing the transition from the mundane to the sacred in our every day life.
The notion that the world of God exists above our real world, is higher in a spiritual sense, ideal, is a very old notion in Christianity. And painters of sacred art as early as Byzantium discovered the possibility to wonderfully join the real and the ideal, the bodily and the spiritual, the material and immaterial. This can be felt especially well in the countenances of Christ and the Mater Dei – the highest manifestation of earthly beauty, permeated with the pulse of the harmony of the spirit.
In his search for prototypes for his work, Petro Bevza did much travelling. He visited Vladimir, where he was especially impressed by the church architecture and the works of the Old Russian icon painted and master of church frescoes Daniil Chyorny. In Novgorod he was taken by the beauty of the Saint Sophia cathedral, the many restored churches, the large collection of Russian icons in the Novgorod kremlin museum, and especially – by the frescoes of the Church of the Transfiguration on Illin street, the work of Theophanes the Greek, with their lightning gaps on dark faces, signs of the “uncreated light,” in which the Hesychasts saw the real presence of God. He saw pearls of the Russian school of icon painting in the Tretyakov gallery – the “Mother of God Great Panagia” by Kyiv artist Alipiy; icons of the Novgorod, Pskov, Yaroslav schools; icons by Theophanes the Greek, Andrei Rublev, Dionisiy... Especially the image of the Savior of Zvenigorod by Andrei Rublev: the entire layer of painting nearly disappeared, revealing the icon board, and Christ's face is as if meaningfully present in the real-unreal surroundings. Byzantine icon was shown as an unsurpassed example in the “Volodimir Mother of God” from the XII century, and the “Christ Pantocrator” of the Paleologists epoch (in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts collection). The icon of the Mother of God ELEUS is a symbol of endless love, a complete physical and spiritual amalgamation with the Son; in the image of Christ, the celestial light of the soul flows in his look and leaves gleams near his eyes.
Ptero Bevza turned to the art of icon painting mostly through a proposition to paint a church. This proposition came from Bogdan Batruch, and he was the one who pushed the artist to turn not only to the experience of the familiar Orthodox tradition, but to exampled from the European classics of art – to the art of the Italian Renaissance. In 2007, the master goes to Siena, Pisa, Florence. The Siena school of art remains his favorite to this day, and the works of Simone Martini come before his inner eye from time to time. In Pisa, he was especially impressed by the crosses, and they reminded of the crosses that fill the walls of the San Miniato al Monte in Florence. And in Florence he wanted to remain forever, for a “dialogue with the geniuses” seems to unfold in each step. Giotto's “Crucifiction” in Santa Maria Novella, the frescoes of Uccello in that same church, the frescoes of the San Giovanni Baptisterium near the Santa Maria del Fiore. In the Uffici gallery, Petro Bevza unexpectedly found a strong support for his own searches in the works of Pizano: the image of the Madonna is presented on a carpet, and Petro had long wanted to depict Maria on a striped rug. And after Florence he also visited Ravenna, where he was especially enthralled by the mosaics of the Sant Apollinaire in Classe, with their depictions of sheep slowly moving upwards to heave on emerald grass. And Petro also remembers that he was influenced in his work by Ezhi Novoselsky, whose works he saw in Warsaw.
The artist bases his work on examples that he find, on iconographic canon, but among the many artifacts he find those that are the most aesthetically alive and active for him. When being inspired by high examples, the artist works alongside them, but relies on his own spiritual experience, on his own feeling and vision. To react this level, one must be not only congenial in reading and understanding, but equal in life experience, or the image will not appear, will not be convincing, will not become a “living witness” by the definition of Pavel Florensky.
Faith is that which is present continuously, but requires inner renewal. The depicted image both exists and, at the same time, is as if created before our very eyes, and is in a state of generation. The boundless is presented in an anthropomorphic form, delineated by a material shell. The majestic paradox of perceiving God in the image of Man. It is no less paradoxical that the human being actually feels human when God speaks to him or her. This meeting happens thanks to the icon.
Petro Bevza preserves the canons of icon paintings, but solves the compositions of the “Descent to Hell,” “The Assumption of the Virgin” in a way more characteristic of oil painting, without gravitating to the iconic laconism of color or the gentle graphics of frescoes. He feels the canon to be a support, like the thesaurus of many generations' experiences, but the canon does not restrict artistic freedom per se. It removes the necessity of the search for a theme and the composition, but allows the artist a free choice of the purely artistic methods. One can become a pure “formalist,” and really perfect the formal qualities of one's art ad infinitem. Here the boundary is laid by the desire for truth – a manifestation of that which is felt like the truth in the spiritual dimension.
The “Images” of Petro Bevza live on the border between spirit and matter; the face of Christ moves forward from an amorphous shining aura, and his features seem not to have manifested finally – yet his eyes seem to hold us, question us, see right through us. Once more returning to the iconostasis of Pavel Florensky, we can agree with his statement: “If Andrei Rublev's 'Trinity' exists, so does God.”
When depicting the Mother of God, Petro Bevza moves through many cultural examples, which in truth contain an impression of the entire mentality of a certain people, nation, a certain form of religious adherence. The delicate variation is attractive and charming, but you still feel the powerful force of their unity. Even when the artist names the Oranta Mater Dei receives the title “Buddha Mother of God,” this does not make us feel an internal protest. The world's religion do not differ as much in spirit as they do in their formalities. For the person that wants to reach the Source, they are different roads, but there is but one peak of the mountain.
Engulfing in the emotional feeling of love the entire experience, the artist gains great emotional strength. But he probably remembers the Zen saying, “There are no known paths of the Way. One is alone and in danger on the Way.” The search for stable spiritual and creative supports does not exclude from personal danger. Living through each day brings an entirely new experience.
The skill of beautifully giving birth to new forms is tirelessly and unhurriedly taught to the artist by flowers. His “Spaces of Gravitation” is opened by the “Irises” cycles. This is the master's confession of his own experiences in “Studying the world without leaving one's yard.” In his garden, the flowers have opened a “garden of meditation.” The artist was lucky to enjoy how the bud bobs on the thin stem-stalk, how it grows and widens in flesh, how the first petal unfurls from it and exposes its little hand to the sun, and how suddenly the entire flower erupts, and changes in color, flashing, tiring, fading away...
“When one mote of dust rises, the whole earth is in it. When one flower blossoms, the whole world opens,” says the wisdom of the “Forest of Zen Sayings.” Petro Bevza measures the existence of the iris in this very manner – in reality and in painting. The “Chord of Space” plunges us into the blueness on the vast sky and entices with the violet of the sun near sunrise, which gives a cool touch to the naked flower-body. The “Chord of Ligh” allows one to feel oneself within a shining sun and not get burned, by clinging at the soft greenish shadow-flower.
The “Iris-prayer” opens the colors of the aura when it is tuned in the harmonic was of a wise quiet prayer. This is not a request prayer to God, but a prayer-blessing, a thanks for that which has been given by God. The light violet aura, a harmonized purple, is saturated with the fresh currents of the starry early sunrise. And the green and light gray are perceived like the delicate body of the flower and the spiritual deeps.
The “Iris-spring” is like the young girl's slender body; the “Iris-night” is an abyss of desire. And flowers also remind the artist of other artists (“Vrubel”) and countries (“Croatia”). One can tirelessly look through the “Flower Prayer Rope,” following the associations provided by the paintings and their authors.
When depicting the iris, Petro Bevza unveils yet another mystery: “One flower is better than a hundred, for it allows to feel the flowerliness of the flower.” This idea was formulated by Yasunari Kawabata in his analysis of Japanese poetry and the poetics of the tea ceremony as the quintessence of culture. And here Peter Bevza is not free from influence. But his flowers are huge, his canvases monumental, and from lonely irises, a whole garden of irises grows in the space of meditation. This is from our country, rich with flowers, the Ukrainian Baroque tradition with its love for “yard and garden.” The iris flowers sound like the mighty notes of a Catholic organ, like the polyphony of Orthodox Christian choirs.
Cultures of the East and West are also in dialogue in the space created by Petro Bevza, but we can always unmistakably recognize the aroma of our own Ukrainian tradition. Pliant, receptive, and yet independent and unique, the culture of Ukraine was and is self-aware in defining the place and time, where and when it exists.
Hearing the echoes of the history of the world's cultures and turning to them for inspiration is a leitmotif in the master's cycle of paintings “Footprint.” How do great masterpieces appear? They appear where God's foot has stepped.
This is how, in the flawless clearness of its lines, the Basilica di Santa Croce of Firenze appeared. This bright temple holds Giotto's frescoes, Donatello's “Annunciation” and the tomb of Michelangelo by Vazari, as if the entire history of Renaissance art was collected there. Even earlier, She touched the Île de la Cité, bathed in the waters of the Seine, and the Notre Dame de Paris grew there – an example for all European Gothic architecture, a prayer raised to the sky with its majestic towers and slim lines of arch ribs. And even earlier did the holy land of Rome accept the touch of God's foot, burrowed through early Christian catacombs and decorated by the first cathedrals of this young faith – the Santa Maria Maggiore, the San Giovanni in Laterano, and the Santi Cosma e Damiano churches.
The artist creates his sacred history – not a theological one. He does not follow the reality of the events of Christ's earthly life, nor the topography of Evangelic history. The presence of God needs to no other validation except the works of high art.
And the God of the Old Testament appears where the world itself is being created – where only water exists, where the earth-firmament springs into being, where the first flower and the first tree are being born. The God of the Bible, God of the Old Testament, shows his presence on mount Sinai, where he gives the law written unto tablets.
Petro Bevza thinks about all of these events with his paintings, creating the crystal forms of cathedrals near a huge Footstep, or washing the sole with the boundless deep of the waters. And every time we look at the work, we feel that great miraculous things exist, which may look illogical, but we can feel their greatness. “Everything in the world should be understood as a riddle,” as the founder of metaphysical realism Giorgio de Chirico once notes.
The art of the “Foot of Fate” cycle is perceived as autonomous, and requires no interpretation. But there is such a sensuous tactile sense in the awe with which the Foot of the Great God touches a flower, that it is felt not through contemplation, but through one's own physical experience. The union of almost religious faith and a child's spontaneity is impressive, and inspires a soulful mood.
“The Foot of fate. Moon above Kuchuk-Enishar” is the most abstract and mystical work in the cycle. Its image is not illogical, it is simply beyond logic, in the fullness of the feelings of the open skies, which freely, with no hindrances, spill themselves into the basin of the earth, created by old mountains. The deep blue draws into itself and then returns one to earthly warmth.
The dialogues with different cultures, with artists – when and where did they begin? It is difficult now to unequivocally determine the exact date and time, they seem to have been present always in the artist's conscious journey along the Road of creativity. But for Petro Bevza certain events became memorable landmarks. The first strong impression was created by dialogues with the masters invited by him to a plein air in the Carpathians, in 1993. There were Tiberius Silvashi and Sashko Babad from Kyiv; Taras Tabaka from Uzhgorod; Volodymi Tsypko from Odesa; Georges Otar from Madrid, and Joel Briss from Paris. They understood each other, quickly crashing the language barrier, and were captivated by such a similarity of views. Maestro Antoni Tapies was also invited – he answered with a reply that, sadly, he would not be able to come to Ukraine, because there was a big exhibition planned in Barcelona (where a personal museum now exists for Tapies).
In 1996, in Antibes, the artist began to understand innerly the canvases of Nicolas de Staël, in 1997 Paris – the works of Georg Baselitz, and in Leipzig – the works of Neo Rauch.T The creative path of Michael Heizer, the earthworks of Robert Smithson, the works of Gerhard Richter, Paul Nash and Anselm Kiefer – they all influenced the art experiences of our artist in some way. But these were dialogues that do not imply simple copying, and something new and different was born in them. Sometimes Petro Bevza felt, despite all of the respect to the artist he chose, a complete opposition in views. For instance, when he saw the project of Anselm Kiefer in Toronto, 2010, where dead irises, mummies of palms and flowers were presented, showing the process of museefication as mummification. Petro deeply felt that he was interested in living things, the unfolding of the energies of a living form.
The artist is no less interested in what is happening in contemporary art in Lithuania, Russia, Croatia, and Serbia. In particular, the works of Dmitry Prigov, Konstantin Osmolovsky, and Konstantin Hudyakov in the exhibition project of Oleg Kulik “I Believe” at the Moscow “Winzavod” (“Winery”) art center gave him the opportunity to find common ground, and then take part in international projects together – for instance, with Konstantin Hudyakov, in the 2010 Ukrainian-Slovak-Russian project “Spaces of Gravitation” in Bratislava. Numerous international exhibitions, biennale, and art forums in which Bevza has participated gave him the inspiration to move creatively, to change, discovering new creative solutions in paintings, new ideas. And no less important were the meetings with the works of others in one space. “As to whom I'd like to have a joint exhibition with – Kiefer, Rauch, Mykola Malyshko, Badri Gubianuri ...” Petro Bevza confesses.
The last cycle the artist has worked on is titles “Islands,” and work on them may not have stopped yet. The artist was completely entranced by a new concept – that islands grow like flowers in the ocean. The feeling of the mysterious world of the great waters, spaces that cannot be comprehended by thought, inspire him to grow his painted islands.
The artist once more feels himself a theurge, capable of creating a new reality, like “Nebula” earlier, a reality that can be given to anyone. Each time, Petro in his creative work finds the opportunity to surround himself with the people especially dear to him. He dedicates works and signs to them, he makes eternal that which is so momentary in life – communion, which leaves a mark in the heart, in one's very perception of the world. Thankfulness. It might be worthwhile to live and create only for that.
The nameless islands are just yet being born, and are waiting for their own stories. They are like the clean slate of a person's fate. They are on the verge of a dream, of a child's perception. They know not the feeling of presentiment, the surreal and prophetic spirit of of other dimensions of time and space. “Lord, we know what we are, but know not
what we may be ” (Shakespeare, Hamlet).
Water in Peter Bevza's work has more than once been shown as the ideal environment, where even a boat which has been turned into a sign-carcass can come to life. Water was perceived as a symbol of the feminine, the malleable, flexible, and fertile source in the “Reality of the Woman.” Great waters drew paths and roads to them. But as the artist himself recognizes, a new and mighty feeling of the power of water overtook him in Croatia, in Slovenia, on the shores of the Adriatic sea. And in Egypt he felt how the deep, with its swimming beautiful fish, where “time disappears, and the current bears far away from the shore,” can pull into itself. In the Sumska oblast he was enchanted by the Psyol river, by the flow of dark seaweed and their translucent shadow across the white chalk riverbed. And in Canada, he was simply stunned by the water energy of the Niagara waterfall. Water draws him to itself with its hidden mysteries, but he knows they can be felt. The artist seems to tune himself to hear the inner voice of the waters, dives into their blueness, in the dark lightless deep and in the clear green lagoons. The floor in his workshop is completely colored with blue paint from the colors of the sea...
The islands are filled with the wind and shine a delicate green, but they are lonely, and to overcome their forlorness in the watery worlds, the artist populates the waters with different creatures. White and black medusas swim back and forth here, and great and small whales slip by gracefully. But the islands are yet lonely. There is a need for time and effort so that they can become happy retreat islands.
During the creation of the “Islands,” the artist self-identifies with them, and depicts that “which is seen by the islands.” So does the “Turtle” appear, and you can feel in this painting that the seabed is alive, the water is alive, and everything breathes bubbles. And then the master wanted to draw laminaria, and a large whale next to them, but suddenly heard, “The laminaria like manta rays, and not whales” - and so depicted a manta ray. The painting turned out to be of classic composition, close to Ghirlandaio in its color. Then a hippopotamus decided to make its living in the waters of another painting – the author says they move easily in water, and it looks graceful and fun. You cannot learn to be spontaneous like a child – you either have it within your soul, or you do not. And it's easy to want to create something together with our artist, and, like in a game, give him your own fantasy worlds back.
Petro Bevza's creative development continues. The master knows how to return to the sources, to easily leave any experience attained behind and to open new roads for himself, to not be afraid of changes, and this gives us a certainty that he will always be new, forever remaining himself. Personal experience and creative attainment really attract through their unfolding in the space of modern culture. Petro Bevza is a recognized master, he has an important place in the history of art on the border of the ХХ-ХХІ centuries. His art discovered new dimensions and created a picturesque metaphysics. His earthworks have given us a new reading of the history and current state of Ukrainian culture. But the most important thing is that creativity is part of his way of life, and this is something that is worthy of emulation.