The light of being

Sometimes it appears as a bleeding white wound suggestive of a recent battle, sometimes a scar, a trace of an ordeal almost forgotten; in Deçan’s work, the line not only signals light, profusion, and even excess, it symbolizes an embodied point at the heart of our being, denoting not only limits, but beginnings. It is towards this point, both beginning and limit, this excess towards which the painter continuously strives; it is towards this point that the artist’s spiritual experience (his meditative painting practice) comes together.

The light of being

With Deçan, the act of painting works on and at the level of color, works on the healing of wounds. That which materializes, is language of disarming simplicity, signaling a victory of the spirit over traumas that could have, would have destroyed it, sentenced it to death, left it to be buried alive, under layers and ages of ash abandoned to past lies.

It is within this murky substance, charged with all the violence, torment, and transfixed memories that will never find their way into the subconscious, that Deçan sets forth from. It is precisely in these transfixed memories, this anti-matter (that forms the formless surface and sediment of each work) that Deçan’s affirmation reveals itself as line. Affirmation beyond the raw material cast out by the artist (that joins the sharpness of his will, the movement of his arms, his choice of color, and the weightiness of the material, the stroke of luck that brings forth form), expressing his desire, strength, and willingness to go beyond the limits of the material, digging deep into the depth of darkness for the origin of light. Détermination - Diptyque - DeçanCombat - Diptyque - DeçanLight that is no longer that of the state of innocence (that blind innocence that fascinates, forcing us into deceitful days), but light that accompanies a certain level of thoughtful experience that gives rise to night itself.

For Deçan, neither darkness nor wounds render his life tragic. He does not collapse under the weight of his ordeals. Rather, his wounds bring forth opportunity and light. The feeling of having been abandoned, the horror of having been betrayed by the world, let down by God himself; he transforms through the very virtue of its absurdity. What is absurd, impossible, or unknown is not fact, rather sad and or tragic readings that someone who suffers can perhaps impart to the life he lives (this experience, because of its violence forces him to keep its true signification at a distance). Moreover, this obscure center that blinds us where death becomes light is precisely what draws us into Deçan’s paintings. Leading us to the very center of this tattered, senseless world where the never-ending power of someone who knows how to let himself go, because it is in the letting go that he perceives possibilities that radiate like the sun from the depths of eternity.

Translation: Patricia Winter

Frédéric-Charles Baitinger