I was born in Bogota, Colombia and i’m a US citizen. I have a Masters in Fine Arts from the National University of Colombia. I also studied Architecture at the National University of Colombia for 4 years, and study Philosophy and Theology for 3 years in a private institution. I am a full-time painter.
What are you doing?
Since my childhood, I have been traveling between USA, Europe and Latin America. Between 1975 and 2018 I had more than 150 Group Shows, 35 One-Man Shows and won 40 Awards in USA, Europe and Latin America.
Why do you do it?
My paintings have drawn on alchemy since 1990, when I joined a research group in science, art and philosophy. Since my first reading of what alchemy is by Fulcanelli and most of the books he recommended my iconography was immersed in the images of the Romanesque and Gothic periods. I began a journey that has not ended yet, visiting cathedrals, abbeys, museums and monuments especially in France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria and Belgium. From that time my paintings are framed within the traditional symbolism, my personal style has been influenced by twentieth-century expressionism and the school of illuminators and sculptors of the Middle Ages.
How does your work relate to the theme alchemy?
From ancient times, symbolism has existed as a form of communicating a complex imagery of thoughts and ideas. It is based on matching things that seem to be different in terms of space, time, matter and other defining characteristics, but actually they have equal intrinsic properties and essences so they can be represented by the same symbol. Likewise, the artist, by using symbolism in his artwork seeks spiritual maturation or rebirth through his art. The symbols themselves are the key to enlightenment. Each and every symbol helps to restore the original path of man in this world.
The meaning established in the art object is only a reflection of the light which contains the eternal spirit. The symbol in art, as in philosophy, is the sum in terms of the soul and body of things created in the universe that reflect the spiritual archetypes.
Please tell us about one of your piece seek inside, what’s going on here?
Between the alchemist and his work there is a physical, emotional and spiritual bond. As above is below, a fundamental axiom in the Sacred Art, to obtain the philosopher’s stone, we need the help and the possibilities of what heaven and the earth can give us. The human being is a microcosm mirror of universe or macrocosm. To rectify the impediments of the work on the physical level to obtain the philosopher stone, we must rectify first things in ourselves.
To obtain a development of the different phases to transform matter in the vase is essential in parallel a modification in the operator. The miracle of the transmutation is generated in the adjustment of the operator and the matter. Without a new conscience based on obtaining new virtues, no progress is made in the straight path. The changes are mutual and given by the lights given by the Creator of the Cosmos. So, the first thing to do in a practical order is to “seek inside” us.
What’s your interpretation of the link between art and alchemy?
Art has many functions, but one of the most important is enlightenment. An image can be a summary of a whole alchemic text. Most of the texts are written in code to be understood by those whom possess those codes if they currently exist. So the images may open an understanding of things easier than books that have harder locks to be opened. That is why the images are placed on the walls and windows of the cathedrals and constructions, monuments and books that represent the knowledge of the Major Arcana in philosophy.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
My present work has to do with Syncretism. It is the combination or fusion of different beliefs, philosophies, mythologies or religions, emphasizing an underlying unity that allows an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism commonly have expressions in art and culture that can join together. The purpose with this work is to find a way to communicate our history and where we are now so that people can understand that we have choices as to our present and future. Although my style has formal changes depending on the theme I choose, the purpose has not.
The world is changing in a dramatic way, where the aggression of Nature and its laws is expanding in a fast way and how the leaders of the different countries of the world handle the policies dictated by the powerful corporations for the exclusive benefit of themselves (Synarchy).
I will continue to work on my presentation to create broader understanding to create a better future. The prophecies that are in every mythology, philosophy, or religion will be the same today as they were in ancient times. They become alive when the patterns that created that prophecy are repeated in history. They are a warning, that history will be repeated if the patterns are not acknowledged and behaviours changed. Many of the civilisations that we don’t know anything about today is because they were subjected to a decline that crystallises in fear and anguish and a profound failure to return to the positive spirit that was in its roots. This is the key, to have the science of the spirit present. My focus is on these patterns.
Find Luis here: www.ardilaart.com
Luis Ardila – The Helpers