Forever and Ever

With a deep appreciation for art history, world culture, and a motivation that comes from above, I make art with the goal of glorifying God and serving my fellow Man. A kind of art that honors truth, beauty, and goodness; that draws upon the gifts of the Holy Spirit; that develops forms and interpretive strategies that heretofore have largely left Him “out of the picture.” I dream of a new cultural Reformation whereby Christianity regains its rightful place in the artistic vanguard, producing works of art that speak boldly to our times.

I present the first twelve works in an ongoing series called “Forever and Ever” (Eph. 3:21), which among other things, is a play on the “Today” series by late artist On Kawara. The “Today” series, begun in 1966, is an enormous collection of paintings of only the date that each painting was painted, centered on a solid black, blue, or red background. The simplicity is stark, consistent across the entire series. Kawara was a giant of the new Conceptual art movement, yet, as other Conceptualists moved onto sculpture, performance, and pure imagination, he was unique in his commitment to a lifelong painting discipline. These “date paintings,” albeit minimalist in style, were painstakingly made, each one requiring the bulk of a day’s labor. And the artist made nearly 3,000 of them.

It is difficult to fathom just how much work went into creating the “Today” series, but it is even more difficult to confront the sheer absence of meaning in all of it. While the most generous critics of Kawara interpret his work as deeply philosophical, meditative, and Zen-like, the common person may likely be perplexed by the whole thing. The monotony, the nihilism, and the commitment to such nothingness. Indeed, Kawara’s project was an extraordinary act of labor. But it was not, by any appearance, a labor of love. This left me, as an artist, and a Christian, wondering if there is even a place for love in the whole Conceptualist genre. What better concept is there, anyway, than the love of God made literal through His word?

Surely there is a spiritual battle to be fought in the fine arts world, where many of its “rulers and authorities” challenge God and His Word. The Museum Association regards their institutions as “temples of the secular,” while the BBC goes so far as to declare that “museums are the new churches.” Indeed, the devil schemes where God is not honored, and we see this in the many works of contemporary art that leave truth, beauty, and goodness out of the picture - that instead exalt ego, contempt, or discontent. Furthermore, much of modern art is made for “its own sake” (l’art pour l’art), which, understood correctly as the divorcing of art from higher purpose, is a form of idolatry.

It is no secret, in fact, that many in the “world of contemporary art” are indifferent or even hostile to Christianity, for it is a place where “actual religion is foreign” (BBC). This is the world to which I belong to, speak to, and plan to eke my career out of. So I pray to our Lord and ask others to pray for me also for the wisdom, vigilance, and courage I need to fight my spiritual battles. May I “stand firm” and “fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel” to the viewers of my work. May my practice be a ministry to Christ. May I honor God where God is not honored.

Original work: acrylic on stretched cotton canvas, 8x10x2.5”. Each piece, as well as reproductions and new cite paintings, are available for $240/ea. Interested buyers may commission the artist to paint Scriptural citations of their own choosing (please note that the citation must be from the Bible and the presentation must conform to the artist’s guidelines).

I am interested in showing more of my work to interested audiences, particularly church galleries, and developing relationships that will help me to sustain a career as a full-time Christian artist.


Jeffrey A. Gomez

Art Medium

Visual Art, Painting

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