Heroes of Studio:
The studio as hierophanic space
The title of the painting points out to the personages inhabiting the artist’s studio, in short, the models caught up in various hypostases and attitudes. One could see a model in flesh and bones, sitting, absorbed in a state of contemplative expectation of her creator; then, different statues, represented in stone (alabaster), or illusionistic depicted on the canvas placed on the easel. From this perspective, there is apparently nothing special about this studio, it is no different from any other painting studio. Yet this painting exemplary points out again to different modes of creation in pictorial representation – a theme recurrent throughout Hagea’s work. This is how one should understand the presence of the bound statue of Marsyas in painting, depicted on the easel. This is a dramatic vision touching upon the origins and nature of creation. Marsyas is bound up and flayed by Apollo after his defeat in front of the god of music and poetry. By flaying Marsyas, Apollo, the winner of the contest, wanted to show that creation is a painful endeavour, which necessarily involves sacrifice. Hagea intensifies this perception by playing on the visual contrast between the free winged statue of Nike and the bound Marsyas. But there is definitely something more in the atmosphere, impossible to describe, like the air, or the perfume, which makes the studio even more dense in meaning. There is no wonder that about the so-called stone porus, resembling the marble Paros by its whiteness and its hardness, it was said that has the power to conserve intact the bodies. What we know about the marble of Paros is that it has itself the reputation to preserve admirably the incense. Therefore, one must not overlook that this vast studio, the recipient in which these heroic bodies evolve, is all made out of marble.
Different hystologic textures of marble pave the floor of the studio, and wrap around this magic recipient, which is the laboratory of artistic creation. If we follow the idea that each kind of marble has veins running thought it, one may say that the impression of a veined marble (marmo macchiato) is nothing but a symptom of incarnation (macatura della carne). The whole space of the studio looks like a vast open incarnated body, the sacrosanct temple, where the act of creation goes from gestation to revelation. Like the living flesh of the altar upon which the sacrifice is usually performed, this studio projects the same vision of hierophanic space where the artist himself silently performs his own sacrifice, in the likeness of the Abrahamic gesture. Like an enormous ampula, holding the incense or oil brought from the holy place, this space made out of a kind of porus stone keeps heroes immortal, turning them in a kind of reliques. Pale bodies, images of mineral luminosity, they are epiphanic signs of sacred creation. On the painter’s easel, itself a sort of altar table, a reflection of the sacrosanct space of the studio, the image of Marsyas dominates as the alter-ego of the artist himself surprised in the act of self sacrifice.
(Text by Nicoletta Isar •VICTOR HAGEA AMAZING ART• ISBN 13: 9789189685239)
Keywords: statue, paintingstudio, woman, drapery, easel