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Inspirations from the Wise Council of the Invisible


The Drawings of Victor Emanuel Bickel


 

VEB Portrait 02Victor Emanuel Bickel always wanted to become a painter. As a little boy he loved to draw and paint. But the parents were against it. In April 2018 he celebrated his 90th birthday and he is still drawing. Feather-light images of his visions of other worlds. 

Born in 1928 into a family in Augsburg, Germany, two events in his childhood overshadow his life. At the age of five, he sits on the handlebar of a bicycle that an older friend rides far too fast. They crash into a house wall. Victor Emanuel suffers a severe concussion. Awakened from unconsciousness, he does not know if he is alive or dead. Since then he has repeatedly experienced spontaneous altered states of consciousness in which he has the feeling of being in a completely alien world. In jest he later told his friends: "I am not from this world but come from another planet."

At the age of eleven, he is deeply shocked by the death of his beloved, highly gifted older sister. This event had a lasting impact on Victor Emanuel Bickel. Nevertheless, he keeps his cheerfulness throughout his life. Music had a great tradition in the family. Young Victor Emanuel turns first to the violin, then to the viola. He's going to be a musician. 

After the war he attended the Munich Academy of Music and was immediately engaged as violist in the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and became active in three chamber music associations.

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, pencil and colored pencil on paper, 1970

However, he never neglected drawing and painting. He's a self-taught artist on the side. The strange altered states of consciousness and his unusually intense dreams, in which distant worlds, lost and unknown civilizations play a part, lead into a phase of thorough examination of the spiritual traditions of ancient cultures, of philosophy, mysticism and esotericism. He also begins to occupy himself intensively with yoga practice. It is during yoga practice that he meets his future wife Adelamarie, who shares his interests and who is still the congenial companion at his side.

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, pencil on paper, 1970

Through his philosophical and esoteric studies, the style of his drawings and paintings changes markedly. Light, poetic, sometimes playful images emerge in which the happy inhabitants of distant worlds appear. Strange architectures with elements of sunken American and Asian cultures unfold from organic plants embedded in an aura of sceneries reminiscent of science fiction fantasies. Gates stand for passages to other dimensions. Old and future or alien cultures blend into a utopian world in which people and superhuman beings exist in a harmonious union.

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, ballpoint pen, colored pencil and oil pastels on paper, 1966-68

What sometimes seems to appear naive or reminiscent of fairy tales are light, melodically flowing and poetic compositions. Not only the figures seem to move like dancers, the fine lines themselves, with which Victor Emanuel Bickel builds up his drawings, shimmer and oscillate as if they were vibrated by solemn hymns or chorales. Bickel develops a subtle painting technique with pencils, crayons, chalks, ballpoint pens, through which delicate, pastel-colored but also color-saturated works appear weightless – almost of aeolian transparency. For his alien pictorial worlds he gives himself a suitable artist’s name. From now on he signs his works with Faroxis, or Seraphinus Faroxis, sometimes simply with his middle name Emanuel.

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, pencil and colored pencil on paper, 1968

At the age of 50 his career as a musician comes to an abrupt end. During rehearsals for a Bruckner symphony he suffers acute hearing loss. Bickel is forced to retire early. But even with this stroke of fate he does not loose his confidence. He maintained his cheerful serenity and from then on devotes himself entirely to drawing and painting. 

His works radiate a mystical aura but without any gloominess or heaviness. There's nothing depressing about them. Rather, they convey the idea of gradual elimination of gravity. Walking – a floatation. Every step is like a lift-off for the flight. The path leads into the weightless, into the luminous. Everything is filled with radiant effortlessness. People and devices move with the weight of thoughts. For Victor Emanuel Bickel, it is a movement towards a higher level of humanity that is to be revealed here. The evolution of consciousness, the inner becoming is the leitmotif of his works. The longing for a higher spiritual development of man. That's why his paintings are never really finished for him. He often revises them even years later, cuts out an element and glues in a new one or draws the same subject again and again in many variations. The message contained in the works matures within him over time.

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, ballpoint pen, colored pencil and oil pastels on paper, 1968

Eventually, he and his wife find answers to this intuitively grasped evolution of human consciousness and to much in his artistic work that is still mysterious to himself in the writings of "Billy" Eduard Albert Meier (BEAM), a UFO contactee and author of numerous books and writings. The teachings on the essence of the universe and life they receive are overwhelming for them. They have finally arrived at their inner destination and decide to move to Switzerland, near Billy Eduard Albert Meier and his "Freie Interessengemeinschaft für Grenz- und Geisteswissenschaften und Ufologiestudien" (FIGU, Free Community of Interests in Border Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Ufological Studies).

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, ballpoint pen, colored pencil and oil pastels on paper, 1974

In the rural seclusion Bickel continues to draw the impressions from the outer space of mind. Not as an objective observer or commentator, but as part of the scenery presented. As if he had lived exactly there before or would exist there in a parallel universe. He doesn't feel he's chosen his subjects. They chose him to be captured on paper. Bickel smiles mischievously when he asks the rhetorical question where all these ideas that are revealed in his drawings and paintings come from. He doesn't like to talk about his art. He prefers to leave the speaking to his works. His wife says about him: "Victor is limitless in the sense that he is somehow not restricted in his thinking. For him, anything is possible."

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, ballpoint pen, colored pencil and oil pastels on paper, 1984

Bickel also writes poems and these contain references to how the pictorial worlds come to him and how he expresses them. In his poems he speaks of "the mysterious visions" to which he surrenders, he speaks of the "mysteriously sunken temple" which rests deeply in the "inner seabed of night consciousness". Through these visions one can awaken the wealth of experience of "innumerable incarnations". He receives images "from the Wise Council of the Invisible". In this way, his intuition of the roots of humanity and the reality of other worlds gradually become certainty to him. Guided by angels and messengers of the gods, he recognizes the stars as his ancient homeland. Once he described a visionary journey in apocalyptic imagery, from which at the end a "goddess of death" is being transformed into a loving goddess of the new golden age.

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Victor Emanuel Bickel, pencil and colored pencil on paper, 1967

In one poem, he writes that he wants to discard "the wild spirit" that binds us to the outer world so that the "timeless angelic soul" may shine. Like William Blake, he hopes to be spared the deceptive power of the physical eye and gain that mystical insight into the true essence of things when human imagination is no longer limited by the senses.