Le Reve (The Dream)
The artist was greatly influenced by the work of (and personal acquaintance with) the French ‘Magic Realist’ Claude Verlinde. Verlinde’s paintings, full of an acute sense of drama in the story of man and his times (often paradoxical in appearance) are perhaps closest to Kush’s own ‘Metaphorical’ style. In this context, it is worth mentioning Verlinde’s ‘La Nuit,’ representing in delicate harmony, the two worlds of the sleeping girl: the warmth of home and the coldness of fantasy.
Where Verlinde deals with two worlds – the world of dreams and the world of reality, merely touching upon one another along the invisible line – Kush fuses them into a single stream of consciousness (see William James). The sleeping girl is placed at the center of the painting with the coverlet flowing down from her body into the rush of the mountain river replicating, in its creases and folds, a variety of water torrent lines.
As growth rings and patterns of tree leaves are formed by the energy flow (see the artist’s ‘Tree of Life’ composition piece) … as the curves of the shoreline are determined by the force of the watercourse … so our behavior is guided and transformed by the current of public consciousness. Man is a part of this current, this ‘metaphorical’ River of Time as described by English poet Matthew Arnold in his poem ‘The Future’:
As is the world on the banks
So is the mind of the man…
…Only the tract where he sails
He wots of; only the thoughts,
Raised by the objects he passes, are his.