We are extraordinary creatures capable of anything, from seeing into the far reaches of the known universe, to following the simple flight of a butterfly and imagining. However, we are also deeply flawed creatures, we are capable of extraordinary cruelty, fits of rage, envy, jealousy, we are possessive and fixated with control over others. We project the best and the worst of our character, because we are the best and worst.
Whatever positive attribute we can muster as a species, as an individual, there is an equally dark and brooding attribute ready to stand side by side with the positive, we are nothing if not consistent between our marriage of heaven and hell.
Light and darkness as character traits have always been with us, probably always will be. Each needs the other to survive, each feeds off the other, multiplying complexity of character, endlessly.
Artists have always been intrigued with the human capacity towards ambiguity of character, towards the slippery divide of the amoral and saintly. We may well have a default setting towards compassion, cooperation, and understanding, but behind that brave facade is the constant whispering, whispering from a much deeper, darker setting, that of fear - fear of others, fear of love, fear of isolation, fear of losing, fear of dying - it's all there.
The artist Macsime Simon shows us as we are, rather than how we would like, or believe ourselves to be. There are no niceties here, no carefully constructed elaborate mask of niceness, no costume of tidy projection, we are brutal and naked.
Everything is stripped away, there is no hiding who we are in Macsime's work. His is a world of deliberate honesty, his characters and portraits are the ultimate in truth. You may not like them, you may find them brutal and disturbing, but there is no way that you can hide or divert from the fact that this is who we are.
We are each of us our very own Dorian Gray portrait. Behind our innocent smiles and good deeds are darker thoughts, darker compulsions, most of which seep out into our character over time.
We may smear face paint on ourselves, disguise ourselves as innocent and supreme, that is the illusion that we live with. It is an illusion that Macsime breaks through, he broadens the cracks in our makeup, broadens the cracks in our carefully constructed world, and shows us our true selves.
In many ways, Macsime's work is extraordinarily beautiful because of its honesty. What could be more beautiful than to admit to a multiplicity of character. What we do with that knowledge, is another thing entirely, Macsime never makes judgements.
This is an artist that celebrates as well as commiserates with our multi-layered selves. He is an artist that is always careful to portray, rather than impose. He has no artist statement, and none of his work has a title. That is for us to decide, and looking into the mirrors that are this artist's work, we have to come to some uncomfortable and imposing conclusions.
Macsime presents us with the face of us all. His work is a mirror of our soul, and if we cannot admit that what we see in this artist's work is that of our true selves, naked in all its dirty complexity, then we are lying to ourselves and we will die with that lie endlessly perpetuated.