Acrylic on pre-printed canvas featuring the face of Christ from the Shroud of Turin. (I had to convince the woman on eBay that I wanted the whole bolt of cloth, not just "one or two Jesuses"!) The imageryis multi-layered, and includes a painted duplication of the four horsemen of the apocalypse as depicted in the woodcut by Renaissance artist Durer; a realistically painted Hanukkah dreidel; an illustration of an atomic mushroom cloud; and my own creation of Christ in a paint-by-number's style, riding a bronco. (yes, I took artistic liberties regarding the King on the white horse) My artwork, as seen in the solo show installation view (image 5) typically combines multiple styles of expressionism to realism, along with words, in a manner of a symbolic narrative relating directly to scripture. Other works in image 5 relate to vanity in Ecclesiastes, and light not to be kept under a basket, described in the gospels.
The images of the four horsemen of the apocalypse relate directly to the powers and spiritual forces of verse 12. The title painted on the work refers to traditional art images of the Shroud of Turin and the Veronica Veil, but also allude that the time of Christ's return is also veiled--requiring us to "...keep alert and watch with strong purpose, interceding on behalf of the saints." (verse 18). We are called to not just seek our own salvation, but that of others.
But for me personally, this art is also about my own spiritual battle-- of "me/art" versus service to others--and which will be of more eternal importance when our works are judged in the refining fire, (symbolized by the mushroom cloud). For me, those spiritual forces are huge in the financial realm, telling me I should be making money instead of being a care provider. The Hannakah game of the driedal involves gelt or money, giving and taking. The symbols on the dreidel, of "give" and "take", remind me of the season I'm in, as I stand against the "stratagies and deceits of the devil" (verse 11), who tell me that I and my career are more important than others who themselves in their disabled condition can do little.
My amplified bible states in verse 18 "Pray, in every season...to keep watch with strong purpose and perseverance". It has required much prayer for perseverance, to understand that my purpose in this season is to set aside my own needs (of being the self-devoted artist) and serve my extended family, widowed mother-in-law partially paralyzed by stroke, as well as my wife's 34 year old niece, a mentally disabled adult. We've also come to realize how much they both need to be enlightened in the faith of Christ alone as salvation, and what the bible says about judgment. (verse 19: interceding on behalf of the saints, and boldly proclaiming the gospel) I relate to Paul in verse 20, that I am literally coupled, just as he was chained to his guard, but that he saw his position to be one of ambassadorship. Paul's focus was on those whom he was with, in the present, and his concluding advice in verse 10, "be strong in the Lord" says it all.
Artwork created solely by Jerry E. Smith
Original work, acrylic on canvas. Two panels, each 4x8 ft, totaling 8x8 ft. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at my gallery website of www.dmacontemporary.com
I can offer a homeschooling course in Art Appreciation, conducted through podcasts on youtube, or available through CD.
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