The Baltic Course  

Approximations of White 

By Olga Pavuk

The paintings of Michael Rogatchi, artist from Finland, are due to be exhibited in Lithuania later this autumn. The works are truly amazing because of its’ warmth, unparalleled combination of the paintings’ closeness to reality and the stunning romanticism at the same time.

Portrat with Rain. The Artists Wife. 1995.

Recently published album of the artist’s works besides reproductions of his paintings includes a long essay in a form of the Michael’s conversation with his wife Inna. Here are the excerpts of the master’s thoughts:

Metaphor for creativity 

“One’s life can perhaps best be visualized as a series of shadows of white and  variations on white. When a human being is born and is still new to this world, this white is untouched. As life progresses, a large variety of shades of white combine to create a characteristic tapestry or pattern to life that is unique to the individual. When a human being leaves this world, this life passage can also be thought of as a return to white. But the quality of this white, as well as that of the future colour of memory, is ours to determine. The degree of decency with which an individual life is led will determine the brilliance, purity and depth of this colour.

The ability of white to reflect and produce shadow and its unique capacity to produce the full spectrum of colour is also a metaphor for creativity. Producing a shadow entails the creation of volume: indeed, a special form of volume, unseen but implied and the result of intelligence alone.”

Searching for harmony

The Heart of the Matter.2001.

“If I consider the great paintings that feature so largely in our education, I am sometimes struck by a paradox inspired by a mistaken perception. For instance, when observing Leonardo’s “Homo Vitruvius”, we instinctively feel that when Leonardo created this symbol of harmony, life was far more balanced than it is now. Of course, this is untrue. The essential features and parameters of life on this planet remain unchanged. The existence of computers does not make their owners Homo Sapiens any more talented or skilful than an individual equipped with a goose’s nib. In many cases, quite the contrary.  Man’s mind and conscience are still travelling in the same direction, searching for harmony. Through the ‘golden ratio’, which he illustrated in “Homo Vitruvius”, Leonardo provided a hypothesis that explained the harmony present in the human body shaped by the Creator.

In my work “Homo Vitruvius (Twentieth Century)”, I wanted to show what happened to a human being, in itself an expression of harmony, when cast into the maelstrom of the twentieth century.”

The Principal Theme

“The Jewish theme is key to my work: indeed, it forms its raison d’etre. Outside this context, I could not imagine myself as an artist or even as a person. Interestingly, all my works focusing on a Jewish theme have provided me with an impetus to explore new ideas and different artistic directions”.