The work of Joseph Cach evokes the feeling of familiarity you get with famous painters or the old masters.
What are his works about? Not an easy question to answer. Above all they are for him the only way to communicate ideas difficult to put into words. Paintings are his diaries, though the uninitiated would have a tough time reading them as such. His works seem to be about time and space, and inhabited by creatures living even beyond time and space.
Let us start with the easy part. The quality of execution. The trained hand of the art restorer shows. This gives him an edge over many contemporaries. How many of them can say they have closely examined every brushstroke of an old Italian master, a French impressionist, even Rembrandt? Even the viewer without any great knowledge of art knows he is seeing great craftsmanship, a masterful technique.
Aside from that, Joseph Cach's canvases are varied, colorful, and strong, and they transmit energy. Then, when you get past the initial feeling of captivating strength and your confusion over what to make of it, you start to recognize heaviness, pain, and a desire to overcome both, especially in his early work.
A recurring theme is a longing for freedom. Of course, his earlier life (right up to his early thirties), which was spent trapped in the upside-down world of bureaucratic socialism in Czechoslovakia, undoubtedly informs his art. His suffering only ended when he arrived in Canada, his new home, which has become a gateway to dimensions previously denied. In his more recent creations, the initial heavy pain gives way to light and comfort.
But Joseph's subject is not merely political freedom from an oppressive regime; each of us can find any regime oppressive at times. It is absolute freedom-freedom from the bounds of matter-that we are dealing with here.
His transformation from gifted artist and restorer's apprentice to independent and fully grown master was achieved through a tremendous struggle. But now he can seek "ever a better country," the one "whence he came." He can hope, like the ancient Egyptians, to find his true home among galaxies and stars.
And this, I suspect, he does in his paintings-mapping the far stretches of the universe and the depths of his own heart.
If one must find a specific message in his paintings, perhaps it is best summarized in the poem Up-Hill by Christina Rossetti: "Does the road wind up-hill all the way? / Yes, to the very end. / Will day's journey take the whole long day? / From morn to night, my friend."
Joseph now lives in Toronto, Canada.
-Robert B. Vurm, Writer
Additional Web Site: josephcach.com.
Media:Oil on Canvas