Augustin Lesage was a French painter associated with “outsider art” (L’Art Brut), art created outside of normal cultural definitions.
A coal miner from the age of 14, Lesage supposedly heard a voice deep in the mine say “One day you’ll be a painter!”, followed by a succession of other voices, some of which he took to be the voice of his sister Mary, who died at the age of three.
He began with “automatic drawing”, a practice the Surrealists employed to produce art directly form the subconscious, but one also associated with communicating with the departed by spiritualists. He moved from there into painting, guided by the voices, and began to produce large scale canvasses in which he explored kalidoscopic images, repetitions of surface patterns and themes of spiritualism and symbolism.
Most of the images in this post, and those in many of the resources I list below, came from shawna-bo-bonna’s Flickr stream.
The two images above, bottom, which are both titled A symbolic Composition of the Spiritual World but were done two years apart, became the inspiration for animations created in 2010 by Max Hattler (see my previous post 1923 aka Heaven and 1925 aka Hell by Max Hattler).