Flowers of desire and evil / from the collection of the Gallery of Modern Art in Hradec Králové

…shall you leave the comfort of warmer places
for an intoxicating, bitter flower?
The flower blooms already. Come, if you will, let us go… 

Flowers: their transient beauty fascinated philosophers, mystics, and shamans for centuries and they are a major theme for artists, in whose hands they become full of hidden meanings and speak a language comprehensible only to the initiated.  

We never cease to be fascinated by that mysteriously quiet, unvoiced yet enthralling beauty which appears regularly and briefly, at once fragile and resilient, its shining colors and wondrous shapes seeming to have no practical purpose, as if they belonged to another world. There are flowers of evil, poisonous flowers, flowers for lovers, and flowers for anyone searching for purpose; there are pure flowers but also lewd ones, beckoning for as-yet undiscovered pleasures. But you may also encounter flowers of wisdom and learning, whose wondrous petals close according to the golden ratio, fractals which may be a miniature embodiment of everything we know about the world… everything we can and may dream of.

Even Zen builds its tradition on the meeting of a flower and smiling Buddha: “Master, we have followed your teaching for years. Can you tell us what the essence of it is?” Everyone waits for an answer. Buddha wordlessly picks a flower growing in front of him, lifts it to the sky and smiles…