Life, Death and if not Resurrection, Redemption.

In my work I turn repeatedly to issues of mortality, sacrifice, redemption and self knowledge (gnosis). 

It probably isn’t much of a surprise that Good Friday is my favorite day of the Church calendar ; I have strayed (or She has) from the traditions of my youth, but the Passion reading never fails to  move me deeply. My belief in a god, or not, is wavering but the narrative of this day, of this man during his final hours has influenced my work profoundly. Whether he was divine or not, an issue that caused great discord between the Church Fathers and the “heretical ” gnostics is of little concern to me. In fact, appealing to my humanist inclinations, it is the mortal man, willingly offering up such a terrible gift that astounds me. I have countless images of the Ecce Homo, the Crucifixion, the Deposition,  religious postcards, 19th c. chromolithographs, icons, statuary, every museum visit I head straight to the medieval wing, I never tire of the depictions of this suffering wretch. My heart bleeds for him each time ,the pathos so intense. His mother, she too breaks my heart, to have such a selfless ally is incomprehensible . These archetypes will continue to fuel my work, as they are now befriended by their “pagan” siblings, the Maize God most notably.

The following is just a sampling of my online “scrapbook” devoted to Christ and the BVM.

botticelli:cristo risorto:1480:detroit copy

tumblr_n3ov9bu8bi1s0jb2mo1_1280 copy

black christ:met cath:mc

the Black Christ above is from our trip to Mexico City @ the Cathedral

master of flemalle:crucified thief:1410:frankfurt

cristo alla colonna:1680:filippo parodi

sodoma

hot pieta

Apparently I am not the only on to see the eroticism in the crucifixion; sadly I do not know whose work this is. I stumbled upon it unidentified-any info very welcome.

mary crying6 copy

mary crying8 copy

mary with veil

zoppo,marco:1470:met

masaccio

Every day is Good Friday in my studio, aside from the numerous depictions mentioned above, my studio is dominated by a large oil on tin painting depicting Christ accepting the Cross (one of the stations,  I cannot remember which one). I purchased this back east, in snooty and very protestant Bucks County. When I spotted it in a dusty barn owned by a particularly arrogant designer/antiques peddler I asked after it. He laughed in my face, such an absurd request , who would want such a monstrosity. With withering condescension  he offered it to me  for five bucks. My heart was racing with joy-to hell with his arrogance, this was a treasure!

 It has been with me for over 25 years , I love it more every day. I rely upon it for facial expressions, painting technique, coloring, companionship during adversity, it has in so many ways  been a mentor. 

IMG_4830Be well.

 

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

4 thoughts on “Life, Death and if not Resurrection, Redemption.”

    1. isn’t it, I was too intimidated to pray to him, the old ladies in black were throwing me daggers with their eyes…

  1. Brother, Thank-you for mentioning the obvious about “eroticism in the crucifixion”……I have thoughts on this that I would like to share with someone – perhaps you please!!?? A personal experience reflects back on this ……would like to tell you more via phone and letters…..I own no computer,nor am I on facebook,,,,,,and I live in Shippensburg,PA. Please get back to me….I’m a former figure model and would like to model for such subject matter as relates to a project, regardless of format. Such therapy would be great and rewarding!! My name is Kevin “Face” Young, 717-532-4009…..227 Walnutdale Road, Shippensburg, PA 17257. I also have a fine arts degree( Penn State ). Hope to hear from you!!??!!!

    1. Dear Kevin,
      It isn’t my pattern to respond outside of this forum, although I am aware that you haven’t regular internet access, when you do please pop in. Be well.
      Lg

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