“The Christian artist builds bridges, and these bridges are routes of access to the beautiful, which is an evocation and expression of the reality of God.”
HEAD CANON is an in-progress series exploring the intersection of faith, religion, iconography, worship and mindfulness. Inspired by my own transition away from Roman Catholicism and curiosity about different forms of faith practice in contemporary America, these icons veer away from the tradition of icons as a form of veneration. “The iconographer is successful inasmuch as he disappears, standing aside so that the heavenly subject of the icon might be revealed.”
These icons are selfish. They are about me, my experiences, my feelings. They do not depict any existing saint or martyr, but are rather semi-anonymous studies of presentation based on reference photos of people in my life. These icons are intended as an exploration, merging symbols important to my life and experiences that are reflected in Catholicism.
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Each icon starts with a set of reference photos taken with specific classical poses in mind. The icon is then color blocked and composed. Often, the photo influences the imagery and the symbolism, color scheme and layout coalesce in the first few layers.
The icon is built up slowly with layers, not unlike a traditional print. Details are added progressively along with shading until they are suitable for printing.
Adobe Illustrator CS6
Wacom Intuos 4
10-12 Icons (or more) will be produced and then printed (in single edition) on Entrada Rag Natural which gives a soft, velvety matte feel to the prints and represents the colors well. In lieu of using gold foil, details and highlights will be painted on with “The World’s Goldest Gold” acrylic paint by Stuart Semple, which gives the most accurate representation of gold foil after testing several different mediums.
Mounting the pictures on wood panels is a consideration but has yet to be experimented with and will depend on cost and technical limitations of the paper. They will not be framed under glass as to preserve the luminosity of the gold paint. Exhibition details are likely to include other sensory experiences such as incense to encourage a mindful atmosphere.
“Drawing Closer to Christ: A Self-Guided Icon Retreat” by Joseph Malham.