Friday, February 13, 2015

The Alchemical Christ


I've produced a number of explicitly Christian art works, although not too many recently. My experiences of Christian life range from Eastern Orthodoxy to Roman Catholicism to American evangelical Bible-believers. I've painted icons but they do not follow Eastern Orthodox standards by any means. This icon, "Alchemical Christ," unites the spiritual discipline of alchemy with icon-making. It is based on the Eastern Orthodox "majesty" design, with triangular symbols for the Four Elements in the corners. Water is blue, Earth is green, Fire is red, and Air is yellow. The oval in which Christ is enthroned is called a "mandorla," which means "almond" or "almond-shaped." The writing "IC XC" at the top is an abbreviation for "Iesous Xristos" in Greek meaning "Jesus Christ." The book held by the Lord says "I am the light of the world," from the Gospel of John, chapter 8 verse 12. 

This icon is also un-orthodox because it was created with cut colored paper rather than on a panel with paint. I wanted a flat pattern-like surface with bright colors. I cut and assembled paint-coated papers and added details in acrylic paint. I used metallic foil for the halo. Nowadays this would be done digitally with no paper involved.

"Alchemical  Christ" is cut-paper collage with foil and acrylic paint on illustration board, 11" x 14", February 1988.

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