Background & Inspiration
On 14 November 1992, Nya′ visited a beloved aunt in hospital, and upon learning that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, disconcerting news that sank her once vivacious spirit and contagious alacrity into a state of acute despondency and abject despair, the young artist, barely 14 years old, left the institution confounded and crestfallen. In isolation, he recorded his brewing emotions in a series of sketches and drawings.
Over a decade later, in the solitary of his New York studio, and upon hearing of his aunt’s unshakable faith and subsequent triumph over the enervating disease, Nya′ aptly responded by transposing the archived drawings and sketches onto a painting he ironically entitled “Retired Composer.”
Perhaps unrivalled in its mood of melancholic, almost painful contemplation, as Nya′ stated in his biography, “working on the painting brought thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears,” “Retired Composer,” speaks of the discipline, clarity and integrity that true surrender embodies.
As the viewer revels in the intense blues inundating the painting, he is abruptly arrested and consumed by a shear expression of absolute commitment in the piercing eye of a tripartite “line” rendered musician, who, despite a gesture that might suggest bewilderment, relentlessly pursues his search for the perfect symphony. In the abyss of quandary, the composer has stood courageous, thwarted the odds, birthed a novel rhythm, and duly awarded an extended warranty of life.
The dignity of the subject, the depth of feeling, and the complexity of means within a very limited range make it one of Nya’s finest works.
Passion is the key for serving your gift
Evoking the vibrancy of the work of American colorist, Piet Mondrian, the fluidity of line and clarity of intention of the German maestro, Paul Klee, and the optical illusion and trompe l'oeil, techniques reminiscent of the work of the cubist masters, Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Jan Gris “Retired Composer,” completed in 2004 and has been in Seed Gallery’s Private Collection from 2008 to date, assimilates modernist elements into a post-modern style that meets all the progressive mainstream criteria.
Built on a series of long vertical lines while employing an instinctive palette comprised of cadmium reds, cerulean blues, burnt sienna and a scintillating orange, Nya’s painterly language emphasizes a regimented sense of order and a meritorious comprehension of materials.
In a 2010 exhibition, the work was first displayed, Nya’ singled out “Retired Composer” as one of his most compelling works from his “Divine Inspiration” series. It is perhaps the spatial intensity, the utmost sophistication, the closeness, craftsmanship, precision of form and the confident manner in which the once incongruous elements in the composition are harmoniously amalgamated that singles it out as among the very greatest of Nya’s work.
Employing an incandescent palette, comprised of scintillating oranges, vivacious tones of adobe red, a spirited range of earthly sienna and shades of purple and celestial blues, Nya’ skillfully narrates and unconventionally arrays eternal principles and precepts in a dignified manner that intently captures the essence without being predictable, pretentious, simplistic, or jarringly obvious.
Humanity’s hopelessness void of the divine
But aside from its precision of form, exquisite craftsmanship and mastery in the use of materials, it is the painting’s capacity to confidently retain and boldly exude the essential themes synonymous with Nya’s oeuvre that makes it nonpareil.
For example, the rusted metal salvaged from garbage yards that has now been well preserved and crowned at the hub of the composition alludes to the immortal power of faith. In particular, the spirit of faith's mysterious capacity to resurrect any Man who dares to remain steadfast in the incorruptible promises of its eternal author, developer and perfecter, from the graveyard of sickness, the valley of death, the sewer of poverty, the cemetery of conformity and the tomb of oppression to unscaled heights of glory beyond cognition, beyond explanation and beyond the purview of this world’s notion of health, success, wealth and fame.
The mellifluous blanket of blues arrayed in disparate shades was not only layered as the ground for the callous metals and found objects comprising the composition but was also employed as the preservative, restoring and the quickening agent responsible for adding warmth to the piece. In fact, it is the shades of blue that ingress the viewer’s eyes into the heart of the painting from where he can now travel throughout the picture plane and appreciate the exquisite beauty, unique flair and inestimable worth of the salvaged materials.
The Holy Spirit is the restorer of spirit, soul & body
In essence, the celestial shades of blue are an allusion to how the Spirit of God is the granter of true life to every Man, the giver of his gift and the developer of the character requisite for him to righteously serve the gift to humanity and sustain its impact and influence. The blue also testifies to how the Spirit of God is responsible for reviving, replenishing, rebuilding, restoring, rejuvenating and recalibrating the three elements that make up Man, and that is: his spirit, soul and body.
To that end, the tripartite visage (3 faces) merging with the musical instruments and comprised of very thin wire represents three important elements.
First: the physical body of Man which makes him a legal spirit specie on the colony of earth and which he was given to perform his gift and fulfill his assignment in the field of his calling.
Second: Man's inanimate soul where his intellect, emotions and will reside and which he was given to make choices aligned to his gift, purpose, vision and work.
Third: Man's immortal spirit, which his Creator and source of breath created and placed in him in order to naturally express his Creator and Manufacturer’s culture, lifestyle, character and excellence.
The Spirit restores the flesh
In other words, to a Man whose spirit is now re-born or has been reconnected to the Spirit that created him and granted him his unique gift, identity, personality and talents, the impact and influence of his gift is unlimited and its capacity to transform the systems of the world governing the earth has no boundaries. This is clearly evinced in Nya’s preparatory drawings for both this piece and two of his most important works that discourse the theme of true leadership, “Restoration of Zion” and “Heir of Inheritance.”
In the first drawing, the melodious symphonies of a musician whose identity, gender and nationality remain a mystery have enraptured the entire universe and aside from elevating him to a status that can only be described as “a world transformer, world overcomer and global changer,” his gift has changed the economic landscape of the planet, as alluded to by the solid gold coating the nation of his physical origin (see fig 1).
In the next drawing, while the universal impact of a gift directed and guided by its Creator is unquestionable, instead of one musician, five musicians are shown traversing the earth with authority and boldness, - an allusion to how the impact and influence of a gift submitted to the Spirit of its author transcends generations and is not a respecter of race, ethnicity or gender (see fig 2).