The last pearl
Painting, for figurative artist Vincent Xeus, is the process of questioning reality in order to appreciate the true beauty of all things. “What is light without darkness,” he muses, “what is happiness without sorrow?”
In his first solo exhibit at Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Culver City, California, Xeus will present figure paintings that are not about the body, but instead the journey to resolution. Each painting in the group of new work also has a different purpose in his exploration.
“The Education portrays the dualistic nature of human experiences. It paints the unique human desire and ability to acquire presence through the process of cultivating objectivity,” says the artist. “The painting Le Rêve paints a young woman in endless contemplation through time, choice and beauty. What I wanted to explore through the painting is our vulnerability when balance is put to question. It’s for the audience to decide if it is fear slipping way or longing at rest.”
Xeus wants his paintings to be “a gateway for the audience to their own subconscious.” Explaining, “My intent is to reveal that which is beneath what we think we see. Everything is perfect as it is, so the true reflection can only be beautiful. Painting is my process to experience that beauty. For those audiences who are ready, they’ll see the light through the darkness and they’ll experience bliss through chaos.”
The paintings come from a love of the Old Masters’ traditions, but with contemporary undertones that break away from the past techniques and styles. Not limited by techniques, however, Xeus is inspired from each individual painting as he paints it. “It’s always a sort of unintentional intent not to be limited by techniques, so whatever that particular piece calls for at a moment will be the way to deliver it,” he says. Some have smooth characteristics similar to a Flemish style, or thick brushstrokes and a Rembrandt-esque texture.
Every painting in the exhibit is not restricted by size or shape. Framing, for Xeus, is critical as it completes each work. “Many pieces in the show will have custom genuine gold frames, and the others will be in antique frames I collected over the years,” he explains.
The exhibit takes its title from Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Last Pearl. “Each pearl holds one gift from life such as health, wealth, fortune and love,” says Xeus. “Andersen writes in his fable, ‘the last pearl, which must not be wanting, increases the luster and explains the meaning of all other pearls…the pearl of sorrow, in which concealed the wings that shall carry us to eternal happiness.’”