Dimitri Kosiré and biomorphic lyricism’s abstraction
In each of his works, the artist Dimitri Kosiré summons up life. The memory of a tree in the sky, of a native speaking an unknown tongue and, why not, of a violinist playing crazy music. He is a man born of three large and powerful rivers. One, genuine, is the Seine and two are metaphorical ones: the Paraguay and the Parana. The whiteness of the immense pathways and the powerful streaks of color he sees in his dreams, invited him to travel throughout the art world. There, he realized that he was an artist and for many years now, he has been traveling upon that creative pathway. Visual creation interests him as being a sensitive experience of life and art. Painting interests him, but not the conventional kind, except for the one that is positioned as the antithesis of the academic traditional consciousness of western art. Considering his family’s itinerary, his artistic expression is embodied by means of a creative act, made up of a complex mix of various cultures. Born in Paris in 1968, he grew up there and lives there still. His drawing closer to art’s luminosity is perceived as unusual, insofar as he does not attempt to structure the visual architecture of a flat surface based on a simple visual approach. Here is a complex architecture, which implies the intervention of human consciousness linked to essential conceptions of art.
In order to analyze the complexity of the artist Kosiré’s painting, it is essential to go back, albeit in a summary fashion, to his parents’ origins, situated in Russia, homeland of his enterprising and visionary grandparents who, in 1921 emigrated from Ukraine and Crimea as far as Paris where they lived for ten years at first. Then they travelled to a far-off country in the center of South America, called Paraguay. There, with his own vehicle, his grandfather crisscrossed the country and set up what became the very first bus route on the territory. His Paraguayan mother naturally inculcated in him the values of a country where the human presence goes back to the Neolithic; it is for that reason that Kosiré defines himself as a « Neolithic», and that he encourages us to be faithful to «human art». Paraguay, which he knows, has its history anchored in the cultures of the Guarani people. But the artist’s creative requirements will not be linked only to that culture. In some of his declarations, he refers to some work titles referring to his grandparents’ Russia. In the same way, series like Cosmogonies or Paysages Internes, refer to the metaphysical quality of a man who has learned and grasped the lesson of life under various angles and in different directions. His are visual series whose thematic overturn the myths of the universe’s creation, of ancestral cultures and of all those which come from his own imagination. A strict apprenticeship during his training led him, with hindsight, to make a declaration that acted as a guide during his development: « My work comes from my thoughts and from my emotions; I understand it as the expression of the mind and of breathing». Ideas, emotions, spirit and respiration are Russia, Paraguay, Paris and the rest of the universe, which circulate within his creative veins, of a universal blood and stock. Kosiré encounters his own visible world, explores it, analyzes it and acknowledges its mystery based on his own spiritual essence.
Kosiré’s aestheticism is uniquely his own: a genuine result, vital and visual of the plural adoption of various tendencies in art, as much historical as contemporary. And also from the conjunction of cultures, in which the significant and the signified, are converted into a symbol of an extraordinary artistic expression. On account of the complexity of his analysis, it is clear that contemporary art requires new approaches, analytical and perceptive, not only from the critics, but also from the viewer. Kosiré’s œuvre is capable of generating in everyone a profound expectation. He reaches forces that include messages quite different from those of the banality of current art forms. His message is linked to the inner universe of the Being and to its existential problems in the contemporary world.
Kosiré is abstract in the strictest meaning of that concept, but with expressionist traces that summon up the memory of innumerable masterpieces in the universal history of art, where the genuine creators go seeking food for thought. Furthermore, one also finds therein his true life and his personal experiences as a «traveler», having visited different places and worlds. His painting is far from narrative discourses. It carries the inheritance of a mystery strongly linked to the unconscious. The archaic memory of the unknown is found through the amalgam of varied sources, it is the reason why he always refers back to the importance of that aspect of the unconscious in his creative process: « It is a way of painting while listening to one’s heart, the eye turned inwards rather than outward, from that point of view, I am rather expressionistic. » An unusual expressionism, neither German nor North-American, which removes him from the traditional concept of historical vanguards. The viewer is faced with a visual situation to be interpreted within a space of exchange comprised between his internal and peripheral pathos. Thus, the artist aspires to: «that a mysterious bridge» should be established between the viewer and the painting». The «truth» of this oeuvre is made up of its hybridity that places it on a unique frontier of perception, and at an extremity of supremacy over all extra-artistic thematic references. Kosiré translates his individual dreams into a tangible reality. Memory, imagination, virtuosity and competency, steer a single pathway that increases and branches off in a permanent manner.
A fundamental aspect to be analyzed in Dimitri Kosiré’s œuvre is the heterodox technique that he employs in his intensely materialistic work, almost as if they were re-interpretations of traditional collages. On account of the use of diverse and varied materials, the series Acumulaciones, 2014 and Tierra roja, 2012, are important experimentations on new visual structures. That is also the case when he uses very personal painting techniques and which, although rather materialistic, do not contain any pronounced reliefs, but rather, flat surfaces, as for instance in the Inks and metallics, 2006-2011. Founded on a specific multi-culturalism, he resists formalism by means of a tendency specific to him alone. The intense and deeper capacity for representation of three-dimensional space that he expresses in the opulent works in the series Acumulaciones, for instance, is obvious. In the same way that the paintings and the inks with their bi-dimensional character work thanks to the simultaneous superposition and juxtaposition of the stain, of the stroke, and of the " shapeless" or deconstructed form, for instance in the series Paysages internes, 2011 or of the staggering and cosmogonal quality, representative of ancestral galaxies: Black Sea, Moonlight Echos and White Earth, 2013.
In his work, Kosiré goes straight to the canvas, pasting, staining, adding, extracting. Like a ritual or a creative ceremony. However, it is clear that the power of the stroke, the free and incisive gesture, the splashes on the utilized materials, show and emphasize his interest for the prodigious abstract and informal strokes of expressionism. In the series Acumulaciones, faced with different materials, he shows himself to be, simultaneously, strong and warm. As a result there appear intensely attractive surfaces for the viewer, to such an extent that the power of the relief and of the chromatics, create in him « the desire to touch them». Whereas in the series Numéric Inflexion, 2010-2014, the viewer attempts to discover figurative signs in the depths of the work, perceived thanks to its formal structure. The expression « mixed technique » cannot define his collages-relief with its materialist connotations, powerfully textured and the extraordinary pictorial wealth of his paintings, it is rather more a technique sustained by the diversity of the materials employed: oil, acrylic, canvas, paper, pigments, various emulsions, wood, coal, corrugated cardboard, flat cardboard, tarpaulin in plastic, Indian ink, and any other materials necessary to achieve his creative objective and the realization of a series of specific works. Always at the core of an organization of a relative and real time and space, for this artist, any abstractions in the absolute do not exist, but are always linked to genuine and imaginary realities.
Kosiré’s work represents the energy of the Being, of the planet and of the mind. It is the ordained representation of the chaos surrounding contemporary man in his relationship with the cosmos. He has, as the great Naum Gabo might say, created new visual images linked to the emotions of man’s daily experience. Kosiré, through his œuvre, introduces a new world.
Caracas, February 2015
critic, art historian, curator, director of the Galeria del Arte Nacional in Caracas (1984-1986) and of the Museo del Arte de las Americas (Washington DC, 1988 – 1995), president of AICA International (1987-1990), honorary president since 1990.