Staalmegalomania
Facebook Horror Artist Daniel Staal

Essay By Eliot Benitez

The Once and Future Creation: the Work of Daniel Staal.

Essay by Eliot Benítez.

In its best sense, the expression "to the artistically gifted, thought can be an embarrassing deficiency" is revisited time and again by the great artists. It would have to do with an effort made by the artist to capture the essential perception, sensation, whatever the essence of artistic intuition might be. A great artist is an accomplished craftsman in revealing to us these intuitions and in hiding from us those thoughts. Specially in the plastic arts, the effort has to be extraneous given the ontological proximity between vision and thought. The temptation arises to compare this to the secret revealed by Prometeus: artistic intuition having been a privilege exclusive to the gods, Prometeus' "problem" was not that he taught us how to think but that he taught us how to see. This was truly unpardonable: Prometeus established the possibility of the access of humanity to the specifically divine.

Having said all this, it is clear that the attempts at art criticism, although legitimately human, cannot afford the possibility of doing justice to the work of art. In this sense, a comment, yes, a general comment about our present lives and their relationship to art would be a much better homage since today's great art has to do with prophecy. Humanity's troubles these days seem to require superhuman solutions: the paradox facing humanity at this juncture is the strength of evil. The clash, the still definitive challenge posed not only to us but to God is presented to us by Daniel Staal with rare eloquence in the Dark Matrix. Petrified horror deterred by steel-like determination. These symbols, which are our life, which were given to us at the beginning of history, and which the misdirected workings of reason tried to humble in so many ways, are stronger, clearer and more vital than ever before. This painting alone should be enough to secure Staal's place among the great artists of the end of the century.


Perhaps appropriately so, the next painting I saw, 'Angel of Eden', seem to be announcing the decision to end the azoic age. The angel, again, brings us the message of determination and resolve. This is not in any sense a moment of doubt or much less of fear but of expressing the studied and wise resolution of a judge. Life must be created out of this horizon of ash-less flames, that is, not the life of the Phoenix bird, heroically promising redemption but the life of a humanity without guilt and without pain: "build a new life, inspired by legislative wisdom and sober love". Passion would be again, human bondage. The challenge of expulsion of the sublime by postmodern art has been retaken by Staal head on: "You don't really need happiness", the Angel is saying to us, "yours should be a life inspired by love and strengthened by duty". Nobody can ask for more from a truly great artist and we do not need a stronger foundation for our freedom than this ethically meaningful and important artistic vision. Thank you, Mr. Staal.

Art by Daniel Staal aka Hellheart

My CD Cover Signed by Monster Magnet Vocalist Dave Wyndorf .