Picasso wrote: “In each of my works, I deconstruct”.
With this statement, he refers to all the research of authenticity, meaningfulness, honesty, a priori knowledge.
In doing so, he also stated: “I do not seek. I find.”
This means that each of his works embodies a final goal; as a parable closed on the representation of a specific subject, in which all the emotional and meaning-making sense is laid bare.
In this sense, Gesine Arps’ Work is equally a process of deconstruction in the representation; but it is completely parabolic and full of meaning in handling the subject. Studying a painting of Gesine Arps is the same as going through a path of initiation. Her acceptance of the Buddhist faith, her regular exercise of meditation, her frequent journeys to India nourish her inspiration. Being interested in her Work means to decrypt the sense of a variety of symbols that induce to both elevation and spiritual exigency.
Every canvas made by Gesine Arps is always covered with a golden glaze, in gold leaf.
Gold has always been, from the beginning, the most precious metal in the relationship of the Man towards the Divine. Gold does not alter itself in the course of time and, furthermore, its brightness recalls the Sun, star of light par excellence, chasing away darkness, therefore Obscurantism; symbolizing Strength, therefore the Divine.
The link between Gold and Divine is absolutely evident and recurring in the Work of Gesine Arps.
Another omnipresent element in the Work of Gesine Arps is Numerology.
The numbers 3 and 7 are recurring almost systematically.
Now, it is undeniable that Numerology, or its variations as Hermeneutics or Arithmomancy are authentic codes of access to the doors of knowledge.
Three, fundamental number par excellence, expresses an intellectual and spiritual order in the Divine, the Cosmos and the Human.
It represents the perfection of the Divine Unity: for Chinese people in Taoism, for Christians, who see God as being simultaneously three people (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), and also for Buddhists with the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, Shanga).
And examples could be never-ending.
Seven symbolizes perfection, the Absolute; but also the Seven days of the week, the Seven planets, the Seven degrees of perfection, the Seven branches of the Cosmic Tree, the Seven Capital Sins.
The numbers have always been loaded of specific meanings in each era, culture, civilisation and religion.
The line of energy is pretty always depicted as a sinusoidal line, often golden.
The representation of the line of energy goes back to the dawn of times. For example, the study of holy places establishment on Earth (megaliths, monuments, tumulus, places of ceremony) reveals they are built on geometric lines, which are physic manifestations of fluxes of energy.
Ancient populations, and probably also the Prehistoric ones, already had the knowledge of these fluxes and they imprinted it in the landscape.
The point of Alaise, in France, is an example: a set of twenty-four geodesic lines starts from there, giving birth to the ritual and mythic Centre of Europe for the Cult of Black Virgins.
Approaching the field of Archaeoastronomy, Gesine Arps is questioning us on the magic and occult dimension of Universe.
The shapes of vortex and spiral are used, in the same way, in the work of Gesine Arps.
It is established that the spiral represents as much the Universe as the individual Knowledge of human beings in art.
This symbol has always meant the source of Universe, Creation, absolute Foundation of the whole existence.
In Taoism, Yin and Yang are portrayed using two spirals; the former headed towards the inner, the latter evocating a pilgrimage towards the external world.
In the Hindus philosophy, each of the seven central points of energy, Chakra, is drawn as a spiral that, once put in movement, allows the man to achieve his spiritual fate.
Stars, both solar and not, find often their place in the Work of Gesine Arps.
Now, it is unavoidable to think of Kandinsky, who frequently uses the circle, perfect geometric shape and cosmic symbol, stating that “the essence of art lies in the Spiritual dimension. The work of Art has the power of shaking human souls… Art can reach its highest level only when it detaches itself from its own subordination towards nature”.
And this is much when acknowledging Kandinsky’s crucial role in the evolution of Contemporary Art!
The Boat is also frequently used as a symbol. It recalls the idea of journey, but also of passing by.
In Egyptian history, the god Ré used to travel on a boat sailing the skies.
Noah’s ark saved the human race, bodies and souls.
There is, so, a symbology of resurrection, of journey towards a better life.
The House, as well as the City (“città” in Italian), are often pictured by the Artist.
As many houses as juxtaposed lives, souls tending towards spiritual self-elevation and metaphysic questioning of existence.
We know, indeed, that the word “città” means Soul, Spirit (Heart-Mind) in Buddha’s language.
The Lotus Flower decorates many paintings with its corolla.
This plant is considered as holy since ancient times in India, as well as in many other cultures.
The flower symbolizes the Eternity of life, as man’s highest aspiration for his own soul.
Being the only one able to produce the flower and the fruit in the same moment; it concretizes the deep principle of “simultaneity of cause and effect”.
Therefore, all the stages of life coexist together in each flower; in the same time, everyone has to be inclined to make his own best side arise.
The Lotus Flower is also symbol of purity.
Coming out from mud and murky water, it blooms as a pure and perfect flower; as Buddha’s thought arises from the inside of people’s lives, as it can be in the research of absolute and spirituality pursued by men.
The Fish, which swims in the colourful universe of Gesine Arps’ paintings, has a strong meaning too.
Tied to water, the fish is symbol of life. Its significance can be brought back to, above all,
the feminine element, to fecundity, but not only.
In Christianity, the fish symbolizes Christ.
Fishes, together with Wine and Bread, represent the Holy Sacraments.
In Buddhism, the couple of fishes is one of the symbols of the power that Buddha received from the Devas.
The Cross has an important role as well in the work of Gesine Arps.
It is clear how this symbol is used in its original sense: that is to say the intersection of vertical energy, the masculine, and the horizontal energy, the feminine.
Furthermore, there is, in a broader sense, the meeting of two worlds: the visible, the seen that we perceive; and the invisible, the unseen, the Mystery we have to comprehend and unveil.
It can be quoted here the definition of absolute given by René Guénon, who sees in the Cross the symbol of an absolute fullness, tending to Universality.
Gesine Arps’ paintings are often populated by threadlike, long-limbed beings, which tend to evoke a research of self-elevation. And what should we say about the used colour? Strong, vivacious, joyful, they are like an encouragement to celebrate the Spiritual through magic and joyful rituals!
In conclusion, in the Work of Gesine Arps we see two fundamental principles arising.
Esotericism remains in the representation that explicitly involves the notion of Metempsychosis.
The concept of Journey of the Soul towards a World of Spirituality is clear for this Artist, who transforms each canvas into a new invite to a Gnostic Path.
Moreover, this pictorial syncretism is present in a celebrative, ludic, dynamic environment, which encourage the future traveller to venture with joy into a Journey of Initiation.