Notes on interpretation

Although each artwork in the collection is analysed on its aesthetic merits, certain artworks contain an essential message that requires closer examination. There is no specific guideline. However, some subjects contain explicit or implicit symbolism and therefore we hope that our interpretation* offers assistance in recognising these. Although viewer enjoyment is paramount; the results of the artistic journey are most rewarding.

In our artistic critiques the word metaphysics is mentioned recurrently. It means ‘what comes after physics’. Metaphysical concepts were first considered by Aristotles (384-322 BC), although he called it first philosophy. Metaphysics thus studies that which lies beyond the material world and deals with universal concepts. Because of its vast scope, metaphysics can be somewhat bewildering, but the visual imagery provided by artists help to understand certain philosophical ideas.

The phrase The Dark Night of the Soul is also regularly quoted on our website. This phrase refers to a mystic poem of eight stanzas by Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591), a revered Christian mystic and Spanish poet. In the poem Saint John sets out the steps of ascent as the soul leaves behind material attachments, during deep prayer or meditation, as it seeks mystical union with God. The poem is full of symbolism that we believe is suitably appreciated alongside some of the artwork in the collection, such as paintings by José Ibañez and Miguel Ybáñez.

Another recurrent term is the inner self. In the Oxford dictionary, the self is explained as ‘a person’s essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action’.  The Britannica states that in modern psychology the self is a replacement of the soul. Therefore, the use of the inner self emphasises the introspective aspect of the self.

*our interpretation: On many occasions Tony Bueler has had thoughtful discussions about meaning of artworks with the artists.