LC: Deree College Administration Wing, Enrollment Management
CM: Augustus entitled this work "Paradiso" in Latin, thus expressing his preference for this term's clear sound. Paradiso offers a rare opportunity to combine prehistory with religion and physics with metaphysics, by means of contemporary symbolism.
From the outset it is worth pointing out the masterful monochrome quality of Augustus' limited series of paintings, of which Paradiso forms part. Augustus' monochromy is based on the rendering of tone degradation. Aided by physics, Augustus manages to produce twelve tones in the degradation scale, where Leonardo Da Vinci is known to have produced nine. The technical physiology of such monochromy is arrived at with the aid of anodized white-spirit. The artist paints with a brush adapted with a 7-volt electrode in its centre. The result of painting with this brush gives his canvas the impression of electrostatic paint and adds the advantage of greater tone-scale.
Paradiso's complex narration begins at its lower right, where the viewer may behold a geographical rendering of the European continent as seen through the clouds from outer space. At the point where Germany meets Switzerland is inscribed the word 'CERN', which is the place where scientists founded the well-known factory for experimental quantum physics. There they created a cyclical platform stretching kilometers, on which - based on the theory of flow and hyper-netting - photons are discharged and are made via electromagnetism to reach velocities nearing the speed of light, with an aim to receive in return epistemological proofs for the universe's creation. The Christian cross crowns the factory superstitiously to bless the dangerous experiments taking place there. From this point onwards Augustus unfolds hypothetical scenaria which may occur as a result of these experiments at Cern. At a close distance from the factory takes place the split of an atom, which results from man's effort to discover his molecular composure. Man appears to balance over an isolated molecule. Nearby this scene is formed the isosceles triangle of the 'Omnivident Eye', symbol of God, the existence of which man hopes to explain through science. At the painting's central lower part appears again the name 'CERN' and the number '2018' propheciszing the year for the experiments' completion. There takes place a triple nuclear explosion, which may result in the creation of a black hole, symbolized by a spire surrounded by electrical discharges. In between the explosion and the hole stands the painter as observer. The left side of the painting is concerned with the split of man in his male and female components. A photonic hyper-mechanism sucks the processed humans into another dimension via a photographich shutter. Such a process represents the transition from death to immortality. In this new realm of spiritual dimension man begins to comprehend his surrounding universe beyond earth. On the sphere of the stars he perceives the birth of galaxies, worlds beyond comprehension, the hidden knowledge that was before him on earth, but never accepted. At the right part of the painting man in his psychic form approaches Paradiso, God's kingdom. The heavenly city is built on levels that communicate via passages, much like interconnected vessels in a science laboratory. The preparation to enter the city involves the partition of material / bodily, spiritual / psychical actions of men. The partition is followed by registration, which goes through filters in the form of a staircase leading at the entrance of Paradiso. The filters / steps are given names in the following order "GREATFULNESS [sic]", "PRAY", "DONATION", "UNDERSTANDING", "CHARITY", "RESPECT", "REPENTENCE", "GENTLENESS", and "LOVE". The latter concept is repeated thrice in keeping with the Christian faith's triadic form of love for the body, the spirit and the divine. At the entrance of Paradiso rises a tall tower, which leads to the Temple of God's Wisdom adorned by its immense vault. Under this temple's roof man in his psychical dimension enters the community of paradise, replete with angelic figures that are essentially human forms bathed in the light of stars. The galaxies are represented as immaterial celestial jewels. At the upper center of the painting is represented a ladder leading to the throne of God, which is brighter than bright and is impossible to represent. The circles around the prominent angel's form at the right symbolize the stages of Paradiso, which vary depending on man's virtues.
Augustus' Paradiso is an inspired take on trans-temporal Christian-based spirituality through today's material technology. By means of appropriating and reshuffling excerpts from science, philosophy and art Augustus manages to express his utopic vision of an ideal world.