Week Thirty-Three: Jesus Stills the Storm by Jose Ignacio Fletes Cruz

August 18, 2019

Week Thirty-Three: Jesus Stills the Storm by Jose Ignacio Fletes Cruz

This week's featured artwork from the on-line Sacred Art Pilgrim Collection depicting a miracle of Christ comes from Nicaragua. It is an acrylic on canvas painting of Jesus stilling the storm by Jose Ignacio Fletes Cruz, a Primitivista artist whose naif style of image-making is associated with a utopian Christian community, founded in the mid 1960s on a island chain in Lake Nicaragua by the Roman Catholic poet-priest, Ernesto Cardenal, a proponent of Liberation Theology, who believed the church should actively support the poor in their struggle for social and economic justice. He went on to hold a post in the Sandinista revolutionary government after the overthrew of Dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979. Fletes Cruz was a like-minded artmaker who came to the community to join in the unique social experiment, creating sacred images in a simple, folk art style promoting its egalitarian ideals. The Savior who walks across the Sea of Galilee to rescue the wave-tossed disciples in this dramatic retelling of the Gospel story looks little different from them or any local campesino farmer in his plain white shirt and blue jeans. (John Kohan)