Presence of the Past
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Presence of the Past was inspired by Victor’s trip to Arizona and the scenes of ancient cliff dwellings of the ancient Anasazi people. Contrary to some interpretations, this painting does not draw a direct parallel with the Indian tradition of humans transforming into spirits. Instead, Bregeda brings to light the presence of the invisible, angelic hosts that have been around people throughout the ages.
The angels witnessed numerous generations of the ancient Pueblo tribes, as well as the more contemporary Navajo people. Today, the Arizona views are quite different from what they were centuries ago. However, the connection with the spiritual realm remains the same. The angelic beings are all around us while we go about our lives, unaware of their presence.
From a purely aesthetic angle, this painting is a remarkable still life composition with several traditional elements. The table is the action scene: the apple is the fruit of knowledge, the cloth is the pathway to Heaven; the books is the symbol wisdom; and the candle is the holy light shaping into angels and producing God’s aroma.
At the top left corner, we can see the Bregeda signature mark – the face of God the Father forming from the smoke and candle wax.