The sunset on this painting hardly resembles natural sunset that we are used to see in the evening above a lake or a field, isn’t it?
For example, it lacks the most prominent element of any sunset – the horizon line that cuts the sun. The sun itself looks somewhat weird – showing its distinct inner structure, warily winking from its blue box, as if trying to call. And the sky is not just a heavenly firmament, but rather an underground tunnel vault cut into rigid rock. It has nothing in common with the usual sunset sky flaming in shades of pink and purple.
What was on the artist’s mind when he had been painting this extremely abstract sunset? And why he called it the sunset at all?
In order to understand the pictorial creations of Vladimir Asanov, an artist from Lithuania, it’s not enough to call them abstractions, or stylizations, or metaphors, or fantasies. Unlike other modernist paintings, there is no physical reality at all here - neither distorted, no refracted. So, this picture has very vague relation to the sunset, you may say there is nothing like the sunset in it. It shows the experience of another reality, of a higher world of spirit. Each painting by Asanov is an interpretation of an emotional experience taken from another world.
They call them spiritualists, psychics, parapsychologists, and so on, but Asanov is not one of them, so we'll call him the explorer of the spiritual world. Using some special exercises, the spiritual explorer enters the inner world, which ordinary people can reach only in unconscious state of sleep, or after they are dead. Some people can have transcendental impressions consciously, as well, when some vision suddenly strikes the imagination. Although, such impressions are so fine, unusual and transient, that an untrained mind usually cannot hold them, and they instantly disappear as a forgotten night dream. However, they bring enormous energy with them and, if channeled to the comprehensible language of notions and visual images, their beneficial healing impact can be enhanced manifold.
The Sunset painting is a translation of one of such impressions into the language of colors and shapes. This does not mean a medium would see exactly the same picture in his spiritual vision. The word "seeing” is altogether inapplicable to extrasensory impressions, since these impressions cannot be compared to any visual, audible, or any other sensual experience. The spiritual world remains invisible to the human being until he develops in himself yet another organ of sense capable of picking up these extremely unusual but not less real and strong impressions. If you succeed in developing the missing sixth sense by continuous training, meditation and concentration, the sky will be your limit.
Although, receiving the extrasensory impressions and witnessing the spiritual world does not complete the task. You have then to bring your impression to other people and explain it using the language that our mind and our usual five senses can comprehend. Creativity is one of such interpretation methods, when a piece of art conveys the impression from the spiritual world. Being able to make such things is the highest achievement of the spiritual explorer. Then, he really receives the enormous energy and powerful enlightenment. Otherwise, these spiritual impressions are of no use, since they just distract your attention from everyday life and can even damage your state of mind.
The law of the spiritual world says that you cannot use what your receive egoistically for your own pleasure, like a drug addict. In real world, you can please yourself as much as you wish watching wonderful sunsets, flowers, art masterpieces, or just movies, but you cannot take egoistic pleasure from your own spiritual impressions. Each spiritual impression is impregnated with a task, it urges you to create.
Thus, the artist starts with meditation. He plunges into some image, say, the sunset he saw the day before. He envisages the sun slowly going down and the color of the sky gradually changing, then he runs this impression back and forth in his mind (so, the painting is called Sunset, because the sunset was the starting point for the exploration). Then, he leaves his normal state of mind and then, in the transformed state of mind, he receives from the spiritual world some sort of impression that can be interpreted as these or that colors. Now, he can take his brushes and put these colors on canvas. Though, to refine something in the received impression, he needs to go through the whole preliminary process again. Each time, entering the same transformed state of mind, he condenses his extrasensory impression. Each time, coming back to his painting, he adds a new extrasensory feature to it. He repeats this cycle until the EXTRASENSORY experience turns into a SENSORY impression. Thus, the painting is being created based on the extrasensory experience. Fine and fleeting imperceptible experience becomes a visible sensory image.
What are the features of the spiritual world that we can see on this painting?
The sun is enclosed in a blue box. Although, the box doesn’t close in itself – there is the fifth side protruding from the first one! This brings us to the idea that THERE ARE NO CLOSED SHAPES in the spiritual world. Thus, there are no strict divisions between things, and the features smoothly merge and flow one into another.
On the other hand, the sun, the box and the vault in this painting make a complete subject, but there is nothing more! There is no familiar background here. We are used to see an object in the foreground and then, something in the background to support it. It's not the fact in the spiritual world. Our meditation has created the organ of sense for perceiving just one object. Once sneaking into the spiritual world, we cannot see it all, but just ONE SPECIFIC OBJECT.
There is another strange detail in this painting worth noticing. The left half of the vault seems to be behind the blue square, while the right side is obviously in front of it. The vault is at the same time neat and far aware. How can this be? It seems to spread away from the observer, the closest point transforming into the farthest. There is NO DISTANCE. The observer cannot be separated from the painting. There is no distinction between the author and the reality in the spiritual world.
You may see another unusual thing in the picture. Each object in the real world has its inside and outside, but not here! The blue and green colors to the right, depict the inner side of the vault, but the same blue and green colors make the outer side to the left. The inside transforms into the outside like the Moebius band. So, there is NO INSIDE AND OUTSIDE in the spiritual world. The inner and the outer space are the same..
So, the proper investigation of these feature persuades us that the Sunset could not been copied from any physical sensory object, but has been taken from the extrasensory world. Of course, we cannot describe ALL infinite features of the spiritual world based on one painting. Let us leave this fascinating intellectual game to let the reader explore these and many other features of the spiritual world by himself, looking at any other painting by Vladimir Asanov from his virtual gallery available at the above internet address.