A Way of Looking
In The Gospel of Mark, Jesus rebukes his disciples, always so slow to understand the meaning of his message, for “having eyes, but not seeing.” We often look at art, especially sacred art, without really seeing what it’s all about. This series of five collages, made from original drawings, framed by enlarged and reduced photo-copied sections of the same pictures, explores ways of looking at holy images. What do we glimpse first? No doubt, the eyes, which in Jesus’ words are “the light of the body.” Sometimes they stare straight at us, probing our thoughts and motives. In icons of Our Lady of Tenderness, they look past the Christ Child and the viewer, as if contemplating God’s future plan of redemption. There are also the hands to examine, lifted up in prayer with palms open to receive. Or directing our gaze to the Baby Jesus, whose fingers tenderly cling to his mother’s neck. Then, there are symbols and letters to be deciphered. Look closely at the orb of the world surmounted by a cross, which The Archangel Michael holds in his left hand. The three letters stand for “Christ, the Just Judge.” The messenger’s staff in his right hand marks him as a divinely appointed emissary. Note, as well, the constant interplay of colors like red, blue, and purple, suggesting humanity, divinity, and royalty. It’s all in the details.