does Karas do? What does he paint? Strange landscapes where the
perspectives are in tiers and ochre fields stretch out their
parallel lines; a mineral macrocosm fragrant with warm earth,
enfolding the rotund shape of a pine tree, the cube of a farm,
and skies where obedient storms will play themselves out.
What does Karas do? What does he paint? Strange landscapes where the perspectives are in tiers and ochre fields stretch out their parallel lines; a mineral macrocosm fragrant with warm earth, enfolding the rotund shape of a pine tree, the cube of a farm, and skies where obedient storms will play themselves out. Or, perhaps, a lake set down in between the obscurity of two nights, where the discrete presence of golden, evanescent foliage - spun about by a mysterious wind from another world - palpitates on the shores.
When the painting is a still life (since that is the term for it), the objects are placed there as if casually; but the eye quickly perceives the diabolic precision with which the tension becomes established, circulates, overflows, and literally constitutes the painting.
Nothing is random here. There are only rendezvous; only contacts where the current passes and one discovers the most audacious of visual art. The art is modern - although one might say that it is timeless, in spite of its distinctive flat style. It brings to mind De Staël, Matisse, and Matisse's American emulator, the great Milton Avery.
In Karas' approach there is no bias, no attempt to prove something or to sermonize. The artist invites us to look at his constructions with a contemplative eye, to wander nonchalantly through melodic landscapes as though we're in a dream. The music is one of gentle rhythms that are superimposed, juxtaposed, and embraced without falling into chaos. They are stripped to the simplest expression without being impoverished; they are fluid and spiritual. Both the chromatic harmony and the lines emerge without ostentation, but with an infinite gentleness that reveals an underlying force.
And the timbre? The instrument, this medium that Karas manipulates with such skill, is a wash of oil over an acrylic base, as though the artist can feign giddiness all the better from a solid foundation.
Karas joins his "structures" - the term is perhaps a bit strong - with subtlety and precision, but he understands that the sacrosanct notion of structure is nothing without sensuality. An irreproachable painting will never be anything more than perfect (how dreary!) in the absence of humour, tenderness, and joie de vivre.
The artist's pursuit of exactitude is genuine and involves impeccable technique, although it never takes itself too seriously. Everything in Karas' paintings is precisely calibrated yet instinctive and implicit, as part of a vision of the world that is serene and contagiously optimistic.
Yes, Karas' art is cerebral, carefully constructed, and methodical. But didn't Goethe say, "Art is art because it isn't Nature"? His art is thoughtful but, to our great delight, it remains deeply human
Texte de C.COMANZO, écrivain et professeur à l'Université de Bourgogne ( Dijon )