Nature of absurdity
Credo quia absurdum.

You are – ENSNARED…

Trust me, for I speak with utmost gravity! Do you think I am joking? Ecoutez, such a joke rings true in the words of Martin Short: “What serves as a pun in my show, and what is sincere truth – is for you to decide…” But me – I know what dangers lie ahead of you. No mistake here. Rather a mystery. Enigma. The very first step inside the gallery, the very first glance into Cheval’s book, even the first time you heard the name – Cheval… You were ENSNARED. YOU FEEL YOUR PUPILS DILATING. Leave before it is too late! YOU SENSE YOUR PALMS GETTING WARMER. Leave for the sake of all that is sacred! Do not LOOK at the paintings… YOU BREATHE FASTER. And do not try to remember anything… It is DANGEROUS.

Cheval will poison you. And believe me, he will get away with it easily. He will turn your life into torment, sweet torment of – ANTICIPATED PLAY. Venom, which preserves in itself the fundamental nature of ancient wisdom, elements of which forever exist within the sacred boundaries of acceptance toward other cultures and outside of religious or atheist subtexts, will pervade you. It will poison instantly, profoundly and for a long time.


All dictionaries, presently known to me, define absurdity as nonsense, ridiculous irrationality, which makes the phrase uttered by the emperor Tertullian… in the light of such interpretation to appear quite lacking, even though Tertullian himself referred to the supernatural regarding religious beliefs. Therefore, Cheval jokes that his absurdity – is a supernatural, reverse side of reality, not an argumentum ad ignorantiam3, but rather proof of existence of another dimension.

The followers of Carl Gustav Jung call this a mystical participation – a term borrowed from the anthropologist Levy-Bruhl and used to identify a relationship in which “a person cannot separate oneself from the object or an article being perceived”. Freud’s followers call this phenomenon a proactive identification. Personally, I would name it “contact schizophrenia”… One person boasts of seeing flying teapots and, after a while, another will start noticing them as well.

A few years ago, I heard about an artist, who received a quill as a gift from an ANGEL… and now uses it to create his paintings; naturally, I did not believe it.


Michael Cheval never affirmed nor denied the story about his angel quill, and questioning him felt redundant, especially after I saw his works with my own eyes… They could not possibly be created without an angelic touch.

His paintings are crafted with unbiased virtuosity of great masters belonging to the Golden Age of Dutch art and with… sensibility of an angel. This sensibility radiates certain healing powers. Let me try to explain. The outer, visible side of irrationality in Cheval’s creations is nothing but an invitation to PLAY, to start creating by yourself. He arranges his composition in the way of a theatrical production with actors and dialogue, except that you become the author of this dialogue, making it up based on your own aesthetical sense. You make the connection with the time or the epoch. You create a legend and compose myths. This collaborative act gives birth to an entirely new work of art – a painting with your own plot. Here the healing capacity reveals its power. You are cured from “illusory astigmatism”, in this case – the inability to see a different reality, or in other words, according to the analogy offered by Ortega y Gasset, you discover a way to see both the glass and the garden behind it, simultaneously.

1 “I believe, for it is absurd” – Emperor Tertullian.
2 Listen (French).
3 Argument, intended for an ignorant party.

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