Victor Bregeda's painting 'The Dream' depicts a castle wall surrounded by a deep chasm that appears to be a split in the earth's crust. On the outer edge of the chasm we see the dwellings of the people. A man is balancing carefully as he crosses the chasm on a narrow plank following ten cats that cross before and ten cats that are behind him. They pass through an archway in a stone wall upon which a parade of men on horseback is approaching, complete with flying banners and two large balloons held aloft on poles. All men in the painting are wearing tall, pointed hats. There are many sleeping faces visible in the stones of the wall.
Victor's original name for this painting was 'The Twilight Cats of Haruki Murakami.' Murakami is a great Japanese surrealist author whose books Victor reads translated into Russian. In 'Kafka on the Shore', one of the characters, Satoru Nakata, has a job searching for lost cats because he has the rare ability to converse with cats. Cats frequently figure in Murakami's fiction as delegates from another world and Victor seems to portray them here as guides or conduits between the world of day-to-day reality and the unconscious world of dreams and the subconscious. The chasm represents the gap between the two and passage is not for the faint of heart.
To quote the lead character in Kafka on the Shore, Kafka Tamura, "...metaphors help eliminate what separates you and me."
Victor's dream-like imagery allows his subconscious mind to communicate with his conscious mind and that of his viewers to a degree that few artists can achieve. This painting speaks to bridging the gap between the dream state and reality, between artist and viewer, and between the subconscious and the conscious mind.
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