From Pleasure to Reality
Naim Doumit is the discreet type of artist who works in the silence of his atelier,
like a monk in solitude. To work on stone and wood is to work on oneself. To polish
and carve the stone of the spirit and timber of the heart, to refine one’s sensibility,
to penetrate oneself, to explore one’s inner side through these materials, such
is the spiritual purpose - hidden or declared - of every sculptural endeavor.
A goal clearly manifested in the latest mature artworks, choosing the noble
wood of Africa and Asia, teak, iroco, ebony, maple, walnut, carob and chinaberry,
for aesthetic reasons as well as practical. Doumit’s subject of choice has always
been the human body, with the female figure at the forefront. Formerly, he attempted
to translate integrity and intangible identity through reclusive forms and volumes,
polished till they recalled pebbles.
Today, rather than the ideal (and illusion) of an untouchable perfect envelope; it is the
vulnerability, duality and contradictions of all human beings that he seeks to depict
through the stretching of the body and its legs, the cleavage that splits the figures
in half from head to toe, and the sharp edges that henceforth substitute curves. The
dichotomy of the being is found and amplified in the “heads”, structured as a series of shifts
in vertical planes, gradients or sometimes direct splits between the right and left halves
of the face, a common line separating the smooth and shining aspect from the coarse
and somber, several contrasting statements disputing within each living soul. This is
why the faces lie in melancholic mediation, inner contemplation, mute prayer or deep
reflection…external signs of ontological distress. Separated from their bodies, the heads
intensify the implications of the longitudinal disjunction of bodies amputated of their arms,
and thus of all the possibility of action.
To better render the antinomies of man, Doumit utilizes a series of “endless columns” constituted
of geometrical modules that can, by adding globes, suggest the human body. The basic model
is a right angle with sides connected by a concave curve. Combined two by two, the models form
figures whose vertical rotating articulation is constantly shifting, to finally form a chain or spiral.
The figures can be seen under different aspects, raising still higher, through physical elevation,
the inconsequence of being, and definitely questioning the principles of identity, closure,
a nd pleasure, to foster the principles of contradiction, opening, and reality.