Tapping The Marvellous!


The Compatible Contenders - Anahite Contractor
(The Fountainhead 1995)

Derek seems to revel in the tussle between line and colour in his work!

Art presents multifarious meanings to various individuals.

It could be either abstract or representational (figurative).

But whichever side it rests upon, it can never manifest itself without the basic elements of line, colour, space and so on...

In the case of Derek, it is amply evident that the line is made elastic to encompass both form and content.

The easy-flowing, bold yet blurred outlines hugging a figure may seem at times to carry beyond the points of elasticity...

It requires a certain amount of skill to create a line (line being perhaps the most significant, canonical element of art)!

And even more complex is it to stretch it forward and beyond its natural habitat.

Derek seems to have internalised this process and possess a certain ease with which he renders a supple grace to his forms.

The great abstract masters Paul Klee and Kandinsky experimented with line and form and arrived at astounding results, at a period in art history when traditional, conventional practices in painting were still prevalent.

Since then, the meaning of the very word “aesthetic” has undergone a sea-change in contemporary art circles.

Derek has a fine sensibility for witticism and he would do well to combine it with his propensity to play with line and colour.

And so, in the vast Kingdom of Images, wriggled free, a Line.

Line had lived all his life in tunnels and caves, and sometimes he proliferated by himself, in order to form a nexus.

A skeleton. A spoof. He fell this way and that.

He danced gaily like a creature with new wings and no inhibitions - nervy like a butterfly with jagged directions.

Colour was his great contender.

Born to show-off, Colour and her several relatives, tried to oust all else from the kingdom. She was a bewitching character, Lady Colour.

She would stretch out in a liquid wilderness of deep, sombre blue and flab around in the depths of the sea of her own making.

Suddenly, with a quick magic spell, she would flare out in a ferocious orange and wander in vagrantly, bobbing like a child’s paper boat, on the surface of a puddle.

Line watched, as Lady Colour swung from his outstretched limbs, interspersing and locking hairs with another. She (Colour) would stand serene, solid and self-assured on a mellifluous pedestal like some ancient Mother Goddess relic and then, without warning, she would soften and shyly melt and turn away her radiant face from the spectator. Sometimes she would peer audaciously from behind a solitary curtain, but that, as they say, is another story.

A particularly arresting day came when everything was black and from this hungry void came white.

Line was fed up with the whimsical ways of his contender, but was nevertheless enamoured by her flirtatious manner.

When nobody was looking, a crumpled finger of Line crept up into the dark naked back of Colour and scratched it. At first all that emerged was black and more black.

Gradually Line discovered beneath that dense exterior, lay a strange midnight-blue region. He then peeled off the dark skin, as one would do a fruit.

Somewhat violently, Colour flared her tingling blue flesh underneath, challenging Line to do his worst.

But Line had met his match and instead of struggling for supremacy, both protagonists finally held hands and walked into a deep labyrinthian road held out before them like a cosmic carpet, encircling them into the far horizon in a Chaplinesque manner.

They, however did not live happily ever after, for that would defeat the purpose of their story, they felt.

Copyright © Derek Philip Monteiro