Unpredictable. Essentially, the very difference between the symbolic and the metaphoric in art resides in the possibility to guess a meaning behind the iconographic representation. In case of symbolist art the complexity (ethimologically, from Latin complicatio, literally “put several things together”) is due to the fact that the symbol shares a complexity of different (sometimes contradictories) meanings behind a painted scene, behind lines, behind colors.
The work of Linzy Kokoska is incredibly filled by symbolist evocations. She’s a living (yes, living !) artist, born in Nova Scotia but who who traveled trough many countries in Europe and Asia (see Linzy Kokoska visual artist profile on Facebook). Her second name, Kokoska, isn’t definitively invented, but it’s real: we don’t know if she’s relative of the famous Oskar Kokoschka, but we know that the spirit of Austria Felix, an aesthetic where coexist a complexity of artistic developments such as expressionism, decorativism, symbolism and secession, is still alive in this contemporary artist.
Unlike many contemporary artists, she doesn’t depict just abstract or non-figurative scenarios: on the contrary, the natural elements in Kokoska’s paintings are present, but the impression is by far superseded by the expression, the outstanding feeling of the artist is every time able to fully takeover the naturalistic representation. The artist’s own eyes and feelings are overcharged and, consequently, her colors completely supersedes the natural colors of objects, of flowers in this case, transfiguring any spectator own expectation based on his previous sensible experiences:
The internal energy and passion of the artist, her expression is able to takeover the colors of the most colorful natural elements par excellance, the flowers: Looking at the painting, one could be able to perceive the different smell of these flowers, charged of a water and icy scent; the author push the spectator to abandon himself to new sensorial feelings no more related to previous experiences, to feel the smell of a particular color, in a sort of synesthetic approach to the painting. And the same applies to the forms, too:
A further step in the Symbolist direction is performed by Linzy Kokoska combining the perception of natural elements with images and symbols which belong to the incredibly wide universe of this painter’s own sensibility. Again, we are miles away from every Impressionism: natural elements aren’t copied, nor interpreted, but, really, created and transformed in a sort of heraclitean flux. Elements which probably still doesn’t exist per se, that aren’t part of any artist’s previous experience, but that are brought into the painting just after the artist’s own feelings. Quoting Oscar Wilde, the author precedes the Nature, the artist achieves the capability to manage the laws of creation, and she becomes creator of possible worlds where mountains seem to come out from a Russian folk dream, where flowers are growing under the sea under the mysterious forces of a creative Spinozist Nature.
The flow, in the latest painting, which seems to vitalize the flowers, is conceived, by the author, in form of abstract decorative curves and lines. And this represents the major step in the direction of Symbolism. As Henri van de Velde perfectly stated, the lines in decorative or figurative arts, is not just a “beautiful element”, an embellishment which excites the
eye of the spectator. The lines is charged by the energy and the spirituality of the artist who drawn it ! And, definitively, this is the case of Linzy Kokoska, too.
In this painting, she creates a world in which smooth and pastel colors join together with calm lines which seems to be taken out of a Greek dream:
But in this other painting, spirals and light green, thin curves swirl on themselves in perpetuum motu together with strong and very definite colors, a powerful green flow which constitutes the border, a defensive shield of a bigger and delicate mysterious element.
This painting reveals not just that this lucky artist seems to have the key to enter the Alchemist’s Garden of Philosophers: but also that she maintains in herself some unconscious (fin-dè-siécle) Austrian spirit. When, in 1911, Klimt went to Bruxelles to see his own frieze finally installed in the Stoclet Palace, he was probably aware that many of the future guests of the palace would have regarded at this wall painting as a sort of beautiful eye capturer design. The few would have recognized that the colors and graphic elements of that decorations is a key to enter into an outstanding Forest of Symbols:
Linzy Kokoska is an artist who has her own style, who doesn’t follow any other rules than her passionate desire to live for art. What she’s doing right now is definitively Art Nouveau: and not really because she’s conforming to some ancient Master, or because she’s copying one particular style which developed at the turn of the century. She’s doing Art Nouveau in the proper sense of these words, because she’s freely doing an art which is consequence of her freedom and the time in which she’s living. The problem here is that, while she’s actually a young artist, her style seems to have been passed through two centuries, her time so widespread, not aged, but incredibly experienced, so complex and indefinable, so unpredictable, and thus so fascinating.