Creator of the Ay Fanahy style


Biography: evolution of the style

Evolution of the style of Jean A. RAVELONA,
since 1968

Plowing, gouache/paper, 55×33, 1968

The first works (1968)

Jean A. RAVELONA achieved his first picture in 1968, after receiving his first lessons in drawing and painting. Of naive style using “gouache”, these first paintings were influenced by his first teachers, among whom were William RANDRIANASOLO in drawing and Ernest RAKOTONDRABE known as “Dadanesy”, who was his first professor of painting.

Ambodifasina, watercolor, 25×18, 1972

The “Classic realism” period (1972-75)

In academic style, with subjects based in realism and classical techniques, works reflect the influence of Malagasy painters such as RATOVO, RAKOTOVAO, RAMANANKAMONJY. But also others like COROT or COURBET.

It was the real beginning, the milestone, in the pictorial adventure of Jean Andrianaivo RAVELONA. This classical, realistic period is situated between 1972 and 1975 when he had completed his studies in the School of Fine Arts.

Artist’s dream, oil/canvas,
73×50, 1978

The village, gouache, 33×25, 1977

The “Storm” period (1976-78)

Then the doubts, the conflict between sentimental present and the rational past appeared. Hence the tormented dramatic themes, where a twilight background merges with the auras of REMBRANDT, RUBENS, MICHEL ANGE, Romantic or Surrealist painters. These sometimes emerged in lugubrious and violent colors represented in the conflict on J. A. Ravelona’s canvas.

The artist experienced intense, disturbing and deeply moving events which pervaded his whole life.

This picture, entitled “The Way” was painted in 1979. It was the afternoon of April during which the artist heard an intuitive voice dictating his future way, to live through Arts.

Woman tree, oil/canvas, 55×38, 1979

The “Discovery” period (1979-81)

This period was marked with a large diversity of style. These embraced expressionism, cubism, surrealism, tachism and more. But the core is the inspiration which springs from the unexpected, giving birth to visionary, futuristic or realistic themes which persist.

“Discovery” is a very deeply moving period for Jean A. RAVELONA. His creativity burns, his colors intensifies. He becomes more fully aware than ever before.

During this period Jean A. RAVELONA finds his future path: he realizes his artist’s vocation to pass on the message of Intuition.

Mankany (Vers…) oil/canvas, 61×46, 1984

Landscape, oil/canvas, 47×27, 1984

The “Hope” Period (1981-84)

This was a very significant period because after resigning from all previous commitments, Jean A. RAVELONA decided to become a professional painter from March 3rd 1981.

A period of Hope followed a great awareness as well as a firm will to assert himself, marked by a kind of excessive optimism. To this determination came a positive liberal spirit, with a deep concern, always anxious to open up new horizons.

The themes he developed were landscape, daily life, cultural or artistic life dominated by moving figures under cloudless skies.

The painter was at that time excited to express his painting using thick and strong stokes.

He handled his palette knife either with daring, otherwise with tenacity and fervor.

The range contained neighboring colors, those which tend to mix.

All of this is bathed in a morning atmosphere. The underlying idea   was an attempt to express profound feelings.

Most of Jean A. RAVELONA’s painting during the Hope period represents a long road converging into a halo of light on the horizon. But as the painter enters the next period the road gradually gets shorter.

Cosmic World, watercolor, 53×42, 1985

Landscape Light , oil/canvas, 61×46, 1987

The “Light” period (1984-87)

The general aspect of this period is characterized by the merger of earth and sky elements in a background which is unified by clear tones and pastels. There is a balance between the material and the spiritual. The painter leaves himself always being guided by the internal light which feeds him his visions. In the picture, it is no longer the sun which sheds light on the characters, the landscape or the objects: every element is illuminated by its own internal light.

As a matter of fact, this period is a total rupture with his past, both on the artistic plane and on his way of seeing things. Indeed, the artist discovers his abstract and visionary themes, in the process of passing on the message of Infinity and the Cosmic World.

Ay Fanahy

Finally, the themes matured and widened, the experiments grow. Ravelona discovers finally a name for his style “Ay Fanahy”. The previous periods join in a synthesis.

The academic, conflict, discovery, hope and light merge to create a new style.

The artist thinks outside of the box. His long practices of creative meditation from the inner way lead him towards another artistic concept-the birth of “Ay Fanahy”

His audience and his followers, especially art lovers, ask him unceasingly the name of his kind of painting.

“It was the night of November 19th, 1990” recounts the painter. During a deep meditation at around midnight, the Supreme Verb, the intuition revealed itself to the painter by its paradigms Ay Fanahy.

Besides three dimensions of the self and his works of art, Ay Fanahy represents the fourth dimension: the supreme stage, the spark of Intuition conveyed through the lines and colors of the painter.

It is this same sensation Ay Fanahy which has made him vibrate with creative energy since his early childhood and which was hidden throughout his previous periods.

“Ay” is an esoteric word, of Malagasy distant origin. “Fanahy” means Soul or Spirit.

Positive meaning, intuitive energy or vibration of the soul, Ay Fanahy is the osmosis of the visible in the invisible or the balance of matter to the soul.

Ay Fanahy was officially inaugurated in the Hilton Gallery, in Madagascar, in December, 1990, under the high patronage of the Malagasy Minister of Culture.

Swami Sarvadananda, 1991