A Second Nature is a book that compiles three years of artistic production. An introduction and reflections upon the subjects are included in order to let the reader recognize the different motifs and symbolic elements as they combine through the works. However, the focus is evidently letting the works speak by themselves and among themselves as they create a book of images.
The chapter entitled “Bone Works” reproduces illuminated human skulls. The works in the image sequence composed of drawings and paintings are compiled in three groups: The first one is composed of works about angelic figures, the role of the metamorphosis in ancient magic and the Divine feminine. The second one is devoted to the study of an acephalous figure, and the third one to visualizations derived from human remains.
The first nature implies the sensible world and the second nature, the invisible or the world of ideas. Art can somehow become a bridge between the two. It is also said that habit is a second nature. In the present work that second nature is the habit of drawing. Drawing is here approached as a way of insight. Any form of praxis can serve such a purpose, and that is an aspect that theory often seems to forget.
Table of Contents
Introduction:the two natures page 11
The power of books, the power of images, and a book of images page 12
Angels or Manifestations: the beheld page 14 Metamorphosis page 16
Death and imagination page 17
Symbols page 20
Bone Works page 26
A Second Nature page 47
Acknowledgements page 143
Index of images page 144
Excerpt of Introduction: the two natures.
The title is inspired in an early theological debate upon the nature or of the Christ, the Nestorian controversy. If Christ was both divine and human in one body, as wine and water, or if these natures were divided, as oil and water in one cup.
The “first” nature is the sensible world, so long perceived in the west as inferior. The second nature is divine nature or the world of ideas. Is there a unity beneath this great polarity? That is not to be answered in theory.
It is also said that habit is a second nature. Something that has been so thoroughly rehearsed that feels almost like a new instinct. In the present work that second nature is the habit of drawing. Drawing is here approached as a way of insight. Any form of practice can serve such a purpose, and it is the aspect that theory often seems to forget.
This work is composed by two kinds of drawings. Some serve as ways to register visualizations, that are otherwise impossible to be expressed in verbal form. Others serve as ways for the learning and appropiation a concept, it is therefore here believed that drawing as an action brings a practical understanding of the depicted form.
This work compiles two years of drawings, selected and arranged into a narrative progression.
The book is divided into three sections, signalized by three obeliscs, an emblem taken from the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. If put together, their letters form three names of god. These, at the same time, are three letter names. But, as stated by the maiden Logistica, “no mortal could perfectly discern or see simultaneously two sides of this figure, but one at a time, and that is the present.”
About the author
José Gabriel Alegría Sabogal. Born in Berlin, lives and works in Lima, Perú. Studied painting at PUCP (Pontifical Catholic University of Perú) and a while in the Universitat de Barcelona (UB). Currently studying a Master in the History of Art at PUCP.
His visual work makes use of the line-technique of renaissance copper plate engraving but applied to direct drawing. Both the themes and their treatment are essentially anachronistic and follow the initiative of developing a symbolic language that aspires to a timeless nature.
His works have been published by Aeon Sophia Press (Netherlands), Anathema Publishing Ltd. (Canada) and Mount Abraxas (Romania).
He has also developed the visual concept for several musical albums by bands from America and Europe, amongst them Whoredom Rife (Norway) and Inferno (Czech Republic).