The Seraphim שְׂרָפִים in a particular plate of the Elephant Folio of my Paradise Lost have paint brushes in one hand and flames in the other. They are painting with fire. Fire, the tools of Satan in hell, is the creative force of the universe. From the first explosion of the big bang there have been worlds created out of magnificent expanding fire. God wrote the Ten Commandments with His finger in fire. I was thinking of Bienvenido Bones Banez when I painted that. Bienvenido’s style I call “Fiero Electric” because he recognizes that the divine principle of creation is fire and color, and “Fiero Electric” because of Bien’s striking juxtaposition of primary colors. Satanic color!
Satanic Verses of Bones Bañez
One of Bien’s many remarkable ideas is that “Satan gives color to the world.” Indeed, what a dreary world if everything were nice, sweet, and beautiful. We would soon go insane. Man struggles and finds meaning in the struggles. He writes operas and stories about the struggles of love, treachery and war and paints pictures of it. Do we not find Satan’s struggle in Paradise Lost more colorful than anything in Paradise Regained. Yes, Satan excites our imagination…he causes many of our struggles and on so doing gives color to the world! And there is no greater artist than Bien in the history of the world to capture this idea.
On display at the WAH Center is a major painting that was only recently shipped to the United States. It is 6 by 8 feet! It came rolled up and had to re-stretched for this exhibit. Having been rolled up it now requires relining by a professional conservator. It is a work of supreme genius that needs to be saved for future generations to wonder at.
The major fiery Satanic figure has outstretched arms like Matthias Grunewald’s masterpiece of crucified Christ in the Issenheim Altarpiece. In fact there is a small pale figure of Christ with a cross between his legs on this back of Satan and a church on the back of Satan’s head. I know that Bien believes the Christian church and all major religions have been coopted by Satan for his purposes. The ribs of Satan become two horns and a mouth opens with fangs that shoot lightening. Around the hole in the fabric of the universe though which Satan is manifested into our world are seen myriad worshipers and idolaters swimming in a blue circle and under Satan’s arms of Power and Dominion radiate the human tribulation of Bien’s 666 world Surreal Armageddon.