By Alexander Sekatsky, the philosopher, writer, publicist.
A painting that crumbles into separate works loses its internal magical charge, regardless of whether it depicts a rickety shack, flowers in a vase or biblical stories. Or, for example, the Holy Land, where a painter Nataly Goncharova-Kantor lives. The common thread for presenting works of art to the world is always a personalstory– perhaps, a fictional one, insisting on a catchy plot but interspersed with biographical details and still personal – and because of it, favorably received by the world. After all, it bathes the offering works as the underground water bathes the roots of plants assuring their long lives. We remember such, at times the most unpretentious stories, both for the sake of the masters (as our gratitude to them) and for the sake of our own correct perception. Not only Leonardo or Van Gogh have such eventful canvases but every artist, if he is an Artist. Or if she is.
What goes down in history? A few fateful meetings, an echo of wonderings, a sequence of incarnate impressions forming a unique pattern, and, of course, love. The artist’s being on earth is composed of such a personal story and the artworks conforming it, whether it be poems, films, performances, or paintings. Ms. Goncharova also possesses her own unique monogram of presence, and her offering as a whole resembles a mysterious stained-glass window, where one thing shines through the other: childhood memories through selected landscapes, innermost soul movements through the canon of religious painting, or depicted animals that areunexpectedly recognizable, all of it resulting in the highest artistic effect. And then the internal illumination responsible for the unity of the stained-glass window in time: it is invariably present in the works of Nataly Goncharova, both as a distinguishing feature and as a universal paradigm that causes the artist to take up a brush, a pencil or, perhaps, a camera. Then a luminous trajectory for in-depth navigation appears. Something picturesque and eye-catching materializes on the surface (though, here also the artist’s choice is unpredictable) but everywhere the enchantment of the world shines in its chosen angles and perspectives, in hidden temptations and precise hitting of the mark, as if whatever one sees here and now is but an excuse for making a statement, and a statement with the question mark at that…
For if one asks a question about oneself correctly and then carefully looks at some sudden incarnation of the things existent, the answer will certainly follow. And should one decipher the answer correctly, it will turn out to be the answer about oneself…
Here, before us on the canvases is the old Jerusalem, or as they say, the eternal Jerusalem. Is it recognizable? Eventually yes, like everything else with Nataly. However, the content of the message and the strength of the impact come from the internal illumination: of course, only Ms. Goncharova is able to see such things and in such a way, and, perhaps, also those who will follow the refraction of the projections and the play of glaring sunbeams.
It is obvious that nobody has ever known or seen such Jerusalem yet, not even those living in it as in their own habitual place – perhaps, they, in the first place, have not seen such a city. But now the path to seeing is open, and in the most reliable way, through the insight of the artist.
Thus, the landscapes that draw on the promptings of the reality, variations based on Joseph Brodsky’s work that draw on the promptings of poetry, as well as anything that came into the view of the artist and got imprinted in it (and then was given to us as an offering) is connected to the light coming from no one knows where: perhaps, its source lies in the short circuit of funny childhood grievances and revelations from above. It seems that there is not much difference in where the situational prompting comes from, where the motive comes from, as the influence of the artist’s internal music dominates everything as well as the wondering tale that began some time ago in Kharkov, continued in Odessa and still continues to this day.
The pictorial diversity of the world in itself does not dictate or prescribe anything to Nataly, affecting mainly the details of the Stained-Glass Window. It is not impossible that exactly for this reason arises the aspiration for the strict spiritual discipline and the desire for self-restraint and for the adoption of the canon – the path to the icon painting is always extremely difficult for the artist, who as no one else understands the words spoken at Calvary: “Thy will,not mine be done.” This is the dramatic nature of the creative path and the transformative personal story of Nataly Goncharova-Kantor, without which the stained-glass windows would plunge into semi-darkness and indistinguishability. But drama and breakdown become very suitable as creative fuel. An artist, a true artist is a demiurge of his or her own worlds but, by no means, an architect of his or her own happiness – this is how thisworld works. We all live in it and are grateful for every invitation for epiphany, grateful to the true artist Nataly Goncharova.