The obscurity in which Victor Man’s images live is thus not just the condition that allows light to progressively appear. In fact, this obscurity is also the transitional space in which the artist is able to abandon the modernist paradigm according to which painting consists of autonomy and the picture is a place where support and language explore only their own limits and possibilities, with no intention to resemble reality. Instead, this obscurity in which Man’s paintings are immersed, is a place of extreme osmosis, where images and abstractions cohabit, in which the everyday and the fantastic blend together, and the autobiographical experience of the artist communicates with art history, while the feminine and masculine, the human and the animal intermingle.
Here, darkness is the condition that enables the coexistence of multiple transitions between meaning and identity, a condition that allows us to contemplate the human existence in all its complexity and its continuous mutation: what appears humble can become sacred, while a gesture of tenderness can hurt; the monstrous can prove to be miraculous and the commonplace can free all its potential mystery. This dynamism of things and appearances originates precisely in that form of vision that might be defined as “partial” and that characterizes Victor Man’s painting. It is a kind of withholding that takes a long time to open up and calls forth a time that is equally distant. There is an archaic quality to Victor Man’s painting that is not limited to the nearly total absence of references to contemporariness, but absorbs in a more radical manner a sentiment and desire for our time.1