Are we looking at a Madman’s Doodles or Messages from another World?

By

1st Oct, 2013

By the time he was out of primary school, Augustin Lesage was sent to work deep in the coal mines of France, which to be fair, would probably be enough to render anyone mad. In 1911, when he was 35 years-old, Lesage claimed he heard a voice speak to him in the darkness of the mine and tell him, “One day you will be a painter”. The only contact he had ever at with the arts at that point was a visit to a museum once during his military service. The experience prompted him to explore communication with the spiritual world, and within a year of his first unexplained encounter, Augustin was hearing more voices, this time specifically telling him what to paint, what art supplies to buy and conveniently, where to find them.

Now, I’m the kind of person who always need to know the answer behind a magic trick and I’m not especially superstitious, but looking at these absolutely mind-boggling works by a guy who spent most of his life working down a dark hole, you have to wonder. Is it possible these are not just some elaborate doodles by a coal miner who went a little cuckoo? Is there something we’re missing?

For the next two years, Lesage would come home from the coal mines every night and begin to paint his labyrinthine works on three metre squared canvases.  It was his belief that the voices speaking to him were the spirits of his little sister who had died at the age of three, artists from ancient Greece and even Leonardo da Vinci himself. Guiding his hand, they told him, “Do not try to understand what you’re doing,” claims Lesage, who wrote that before he would start to paint, he would never have any idea as to what he wanted to portray. “I never have an overview of the entire work at any point of the execution. My guides tell me … I surrender to their impulse.”

In 1921, Lesage met Jean Meyer, director of a spiritualist publication, who became his patron. Augustin was finally out of the coal mines and dedicated the rest of his life to painting, largely living as a recluse until his death.

Today, most of his works are exhibited at the Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art in France.

So what do you think? Maps to a hidden otherworldly treasure? Encrypted messages from another realm? The truth is out there. Okay, I’ll stop.

via Dangerous Minds

:::

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:

.

 

 

You Might Also Like

Comments

More in AbandonedDesirable DigsDon't Be A TouristInspiration VaultNostalgiaOff-Beat & Little KnownPeople / Icons / MusesTime travel

Hot Off the Press

Editor's Picks

9392251695_9a1390c717_b

Descend into the 400 Foot Deep Amusement Park

Usually you would hop on a ferris wheel to get a better view over a city or landscape. It's not everyday that you'll find one which takes you on a ride to check out the view hundreds of feet belo...

Trending 6,561
marionettes13

The Travelling Troupe of Giant Marionnettes

It's the biggest show on earth– literally. No theatre is big enough for the troupe that transforms entire towns and cities into its stage. From the South of France to Morocco, Cameroon to China...

Trending 18,915
beirut3

A Prime Minister’s Abandoned Beirut Mansion

There's one type of home you don't really expect to find crumbling in an abandoned and decaying state– such as the ones that belonged to heads of state or government, for example. But when a co...

Trending 8,837
5126739968_1a75759ab9_b

The USB Sticks Hidden in Walls across the World

Five years ago, Berlin-based media artist Aram Bartholl launched a project called 'Dead Drops'. I know, I'm a little late in taking notice, but the trouble is, Adam's project is rather hard to spo...

Trending 32,531