Ode to the sculptor Elias Layon

Por: Jardel Dias Cavalcanti

The hand of sculptor Elias Layon serves sensitivity. The block of wood, once harsh, miraculously surrenders to the shapes created by his imaginative drawing.

Wood becomes alive. Images come to be and create a narrative in the watcher’s eyes. They appear sometimes on their own, sometimes in a group. And each character embodies a personal drama. Gestures, facial expressions, the way their clothes move or their bodies contort; all this accentuates the presence of a singular story. The artist creates anatomy, turning bodies into the stage in which holy history unfolds. He also creates the insertion of characters in the settings of his ascension to the holy reality.

The polychromy accentuates the beauty of the sculptures, broadening the intense interaction between color and gesture, leading viewers to appreciate even more these fascinating works of art. Polychrome settings and the interaction between the figurines bring out the magical effects of light and color of the sculptures, creating an attractive, sensual texture. This is due to polychromy’s ability to emphasize the feeling incorporated in the characters. Color reveals its spiritual meaning while movement and expression reveal the dramatic nature expressed in the sculptures.

The power of the gestures from the hands, feet, and eyes, in twists that are sometimes delicate, sometimes intense, are a consequence of the art of bending wood to the sculptor’s will. It makes us think of the great movement present in the Baroque tradition.

Layon brings back a singular tradition that melded beauty of matter and meaning of spirit, translating them into shape. The artist knows that he must lead the viewer into and experimentation of the characters’ drama through shape. He also knows that spiritual life residing in the wood can only be revealed by the artist’s hands.