Petar Lubarda is seeing through the illusion of the flesh and explores the world beyond, touching upon the skeleton on which what we call reality is built
Mid of the Century, the world is in turmoil, just like always except this time technology is allowing industrious proportion for both: building and destroying. Ideologies are ripping the world apart, us vs them is politically charged very prominently, playing the main theme in the contrapunctus that the life is. Illusions are amplified by the mediacentric world (radio, tv), an object that is receiving the attention of so many eyes, an object is looking into the void, becoming medusa, eventually petrifying all the eyes, but it doesn’t have to petrify all the time. It is up to an object to become a subject, just like in the ancient Greece when the observer becomes the self observer, thus boosting it’s capacity to reach further, higher, but most importantly differently then what was before. The difference is creating a step, a step of self awareness even though the roots are reaching deep into the history.
This is a story, a personal impression rather, of a great artist Petar Lubarda with his roots in Montenegro, with trunk in former Yugoslavia’s Belgrade and Paris and branches, leaves, fruits and flowers in the World. He reaches deep into the history and yet gives us something completely new, a way to look through the prism of the stone that becomes a bone that becomes a structure that becomes an architecture. An architecture of the cosmic journey that we all take on this planet becoming one with the stone that made us and at the same time we become appalled from time to time when we notice the glimpses of the core. We live in the world so dominated by the ruthless ruler called beauty that often times we live in the superficial layer that the underlying truth frightens us. We have learnt to ignore the depth to such a degree that we follow the footpath of positive psychology, from one landmark to another, to avoid abyss at any price, the abyss of the unknown that the subconscious mind knows.
Meanwhile in Montenegro, a heart that beats the rhythm of life, walks, connects through the roots of the trees from which the great artist grew up, among the stones, rocks, each embedded with it’s own demon, as they observe the object that the humanity is. They become the humanity in Lubarda’s painting, the stones are one with the core structure that holds us, which is the idealism, becoming. A life in synchronicity with all the antagonisms that the upcoming era brings, because it is only the stone that will sustain it all. Bellum omnium contra omnes, valid today as it was then, can only bounce back defenseless against the rigidity of a stone, a stone that has seen it all, a stone that was not afraid to stare into the abyss until the abyss stares back and was facing it absorbing all the elements from the cold Night in Montenegro, Braijici, Guslar, through monumental piece Put u Kosmos (Journey to the Cosmos) towards his later pieces Sunce I Maslina (Sun and the Olive) and finally raging against the dying of the night in his later opus Pometej (Prometheus), Vatreni Zid (Fire wall).
Lubarda’s paintings are opening this world of the unknown, unapproved consciously and yet relentlessly breaking through with the scream of Guslar in 1952. Upon encountering a masterpiece Guslar, we are immediately pulled with the most powerful force into the world of petrification. It is not a petrification of a Vesuvius or any other volcano of the physical world, it is a petrification from the Volcanic eruption of the heart of humanity. Industrialization is dictating the echo of the era and it wants to freeze the time, a person becomes immobile, for a moment or eternity, it doesn’t matter, once it is done, it can’t go back.
Because it is through Fire that the purification truly happens, according to some Eastern mysticism and our alchemical past, no matter how much we try to ignore and put underneath the impenetrable density of the shadow that science commands (as light as it is, it is also dark), but we have to look into the archetypes because that is where the roots are and Lubarda in his opus brings those to the surface to the unseeing eye. As Gustav Klimt said “art is a line around your thoughts” and indeed in here we follow the trajectory of the utmost authenticity, the way forward that is not only centered around the popular quest for identity it also takes into account the environment, the landscape that merges with the object/subject interplay.
Themes of the paintings are often times epic and of large proportion, speaking to the individual that the entire humanity is. Portraying the merging with landscape, beautiful but cursed nature of the Mountains in the Balkans where possibly Harmonia found her imaginary home after the banishment, carrying along the loads of the curses upon herself and those around, to work through the karmic debt. I wonder is it this same pattern that is keeping this beautiful region of the planet so willing to let this artist to live the eternity through his work alone in quiet solitude. His first solo exhibition was held in Niksic, Montenegro in 1925 let’s see how and when will the society evolve to appreciate art again, to look into the roots and reach towards the branches not only of the past but also the future. Meanwhile we continue our Cosmic journey with internet, power of togetherness and yet diversity.