Paintings by Marco Feira

5-24 November 2016

Kala Kendra

Is the mother the holiest thing alive? This is one of the explorations that Marco Feira shares with us in his exhibition in Kala Kendra, Auroville, a place where the word and subject of the mother goes further in its nuances and subtlety.

The knowledge of the impermanence of life knocked at Marco’s door when he was 10 years old and he lost his first mother. A second mother came soon after into his life. How can the soul not long for what could have been or will never be in an ever-lasting search for mother love and nurturing?

Does he find it in the Mother of the Universe, Ma Kali, the Goddess who stops time and destroys in order to regenerate? Her representation is chosen to be the first painting in the exhibition, almost undoubtedly as a statement, portrayed as what could be a young girl, with long black hair, a blue face and a bright red throat.

All kinds of mothers and women cover the walls of Kala Kendra, which are divided into six spaces, each with paintings grouped in threes, each with a different theme like dances, Christmas dragons, parents dancing, sexes, graces, meditations and so on. The style is definitely expressionist, the colours are bright and vivid, and the strokes and brushwork firm in an agitated composition conveying a frenetic intensity of feeling, with lines distorted in a gutted spiritual malaise or even a soul revolt. All seeks to express the inner world of emotion rather than the external reality.

Wherever this mother is evoked in the traditional artistic subject matter of the Madonna and the child, a meditative Buddha or in an erotic provocative sex position, her representation is much more than what meets the eyes. It brings out her virtues of valour, courage, and her qualities of beauty, coyness and fertility…as well as an invocation of her divinity and innocence. You will be deeply touched.

The slightly shocking conclusion of this exhibition is an installation named “The Poet”. Is this hanging nude photograph of a man a talisman to heal a life-long separation, an assertion of freedom against a deep core fear, the joy of a poet, or just a lubricious libertine showing that no real art is produced unless there are erotic impulses sublimated into a creative art desperately trying to express an unconstrained energy or emotion?

I do not know what is being conveyed here but somehow a collision happens in the mind as it navigates from being deeply moved by all kinds of expressive and sensitive representations of “mothers” to a slightly shocking, almost out of context, contemporary installation.

I will let the poet, painter and art critic in you figure out what Marco Feira is trying to tell us.

This article was written by Chana Corinne Devor for Auroville Art Service. Presently exploring Auroville, she is an art critic and writes for international travel and spiritual magazines.