– The Sculptures of Tome Serafimovski –
Above all, sculpture is an act. More than anything else, it is an act of erecting!
In the beginning the world existed horizontally. The creatures that could stand were not aware of the greatness of their ability. If the rising of the primates on two legs physically marks the beginning of the process of erecting, than the sculptor is the first human being who stopped considering himself as a mental four-legged creature.
#2 Being the first vertically erected object, sculpture symbolizes the revolt against and the victory over the Egyptian horizontal of death, which can equally be drawn, like an evil omen, above or under the life span of both the genius and the scoundrel, the lion and the lamb. The work of the sculptor is an erected stone and the first conscious sign and determination of the one who lives to remain upright even after death. The oak tree dies standing, but erected within his sculpture, the sculptor stands even after death.
That is why the sculpture is not – resistance! Resistance is passive self-preservation. The sculpture is – revolt! It is a revolution in its initial and therefore most pure, distilled impulse. The significance of the appearance of the first protozoa – a mystical and radical act of creation and introduction of the element called Time within the abyss called Eternity – equals the significance of the first sculpture in the living universe – Novus ordo saeculorum!
#9 The sculpture is a way out of the vegetative. It does not oppose passivity. Unlike the vegetative world, it does not transform the rock into fertile soil; it does not disintegrate stone. Plants are not sculptors. They are antipodes of sculpture, in the same way as sculpture is negation of the vegetative. Sculpture is a radical negation of adaptation seen as reconciliation. Sculpture is eruption. Volcanoes are the first sculptors.
Herbs feed themselves on stone – the sculptor feeds stone with himself! Herbs take the soul from stone, the sculptor gives his soul to stone. Herbs destroy the eternal peace of stone. They take from stone even its passive eternity, through which it endures, thrown at the gates of this world like its mute and redundant fellow-traveler. Sculpture gives stone its active eternity with which it enters the gates to this world, and the sculptor gives it its transtemporal substance imbued with Speech. He is the one who passes the Great Edict by means of which stone is freed from the sentence of timeless muteness.
Sculpture is an ontological fulfillment of Idea. Writing is made possible with the feather, painting is made possible with the hairs of a brush, but sculpture is made possible only with a sharp chisel and a heavy hammer. If writing is barely a touch, and painting – a stroke, sculpture is a blow and a slice. If writing is a departure from the immediate sensibility and a plunging into the imaginative wealth of the phantasmagoric synesthesia, and if painting is a purified and intensified visualization, then sculpture is a condition of active concentration of all senses. If writing is contemplation of Idea, and painting is its subtle visual quintessence, then sculpture is an immediate reification of Idea. It is the core of all energy, focused on Here and Now. Literature is tenderness, painting is passion, but sculpture is coitus – a convulsive cosmic coitus between spirit and matter. Actus purus ontologicus!
God the Philosopher conceived the world, but it is God the Sculptor who gave it its birth!
Tome Serafimovski is a sculptor. His specific, idiosyncratic feature in the field of sculpture is what is common to all great masters: the imprint of his soul upon it. According to his mental I.D., as a sculptor Tome Serafimovski is primarily a narrator, a sovereign, hypnotically persuasive narrator.
His stories, narrated in stone and bronze, have made their meaning concordant with the meaning of the medium: talking about things that have accumulated epochs in a way that will be instructive for millennia to come, these stories have inscribed themselves in matter which has existed and will exist for eons…
#4 After our first meeting with his sculptures, each of them attracts us with its magic and occupies our attention with an incomparable charm. The first contact, however, is not partial: every single part of us is conquered: the intellectual and rational expert in us, the refined aesthete, but also the part which appears to be extremely mistrustful, hidden like a turtle in its shell of suspicion, sleeping in the mire of the unconscious.
As a sculptor, Tome Serafimovski is a great courtier. We cannot resist the lure of any of his sculptures. But he does not use his seductive power merely for his own benefit, but to enlighten those who, magnetically drawn to him, remain in the orbit of his aesthetic empire.
Tome Serafimovski’s sculptures are made with such supreme technique that the stone and the bronze meticulously epitomize his artistic vision by telling fascinating stories about Adam’s descendents, about honesty, but also about mercilessness, about dignity, but also about the slavishness of human tribe.
His sculptures are essentially joyous, contented, but far from declaring some superficial optimism. Practically speaking, each sculpture separately, depending on what period it was created in, may reveal to the beholder a note of sadness, a dark note of prediluvial depression. But none of this has been programmed or planned. It is an element of the immanent mental and intellectual constellation of man-creator who, no matter how well he creates (which makes him God’s assistant), he is still deeply and continuously aware of his mortal nature. Just like the ancient heroes who possessed divine power, but were mortal like all other people, our sculptor is from time to time overwhelmed by a quiet and dark sorrow. No matter how unpredictable it may be in its appearance, the result of its influence is predictable: his sculptures become more intimate, more attractive, and they radiate with metaphysical melancholy which unites all people, before which there is neither defense nor shelter.
His “Lonely Knight” from the Crna River certainly knows how to sing that melancholic tune at an early summer dawn.
#3 In his most powerful sculptures, mainly because they are his most personal, most confessional forms, Tome Serafimovski leaves a masterful impression on the beholder with his systematic, ritually apostrophized exorcism. Probing into the darkest recesses of the human soul, at times he subjects himself to endless wanderings, to a real anabasis through plutonic areas, clearly showing that he is intimately acquainted with them, that he has often traversed them during his life. A similar artist with this affinity, but not in sculpture, is the famous film director Ingmar Bergman. In literature, the closest kin to Serafimovski might be the Nobel prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer. In this context we can offer a comparison and say that Ingmar Bergman is Tome Serafimovski in film, and Isaac Bashevis Singer is Tome Serafimovski in literature.