Non-Commissioned Altarpieces for the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse Revelation

Trinities

Annunciation_reliefThe Annunciation of the Angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary
(a bas relief sculpture)
The “Power of God” announced
To the Mother of God
The will of God.
Her acceptance
Brought the Son of Man
To the knees of his father,
A carpenter and a son of God.
Divinity learned humanity
At the feet of a carpenter
And the Spirit of God Was released into the World.

St_Anne_TrinityFeminine Trinity
(a post modern byzantine painting)
The ancient mother of the old agreement,
The mother of the prophets,
Waited until her dotage for a daughter.
Who, when she came of age,
Became God’s chosen,
And by the power of the Spirit,
The Mother of God.
Her Son’s high calling
Is a cause of concern
For all those who love Him,
Because He might well be hurt
By the consequences of His answers.

Rood_Screen_det_SJUptychChrist as Trinity
(central panel of the Saint Joseph Polyptych)
The Christ who was, died on the cross.
We discover who He was by reading the Sacred Scriptures.
We meet who He is by contemplation and communion.
We learn who He will be by immersion into His reality.
The Christ who has attained full Buddhahood,
the one who sits at the right hand of the Father,
becomes our Christ by the subtle Spirit’s still small voice,
filling all we are, all we do, with the Promise of fulfillment,
Personal integration into the wholeness of the Triune.

Trinity_After_RublevAfter Rublev’s Trinity
The angels appeared to Abraham and Laughing Sarah.
Too old to conceive she didn’t believe they could be right
In their prediction of her maternity.
They had the last laugh. Isaac means laughter.
They were strangers, fed and bedded near the tent at Mamre,
They were full of light and remind us of God.
Rublev separated their lights into red, yellow, and blue.
He put them into a byzantine off-kilter landscape.
They were trinity, after all, and not used to sitting in our space.

Trinity_Waiting_for_the_BusTrinity Waiting for the Bus (triptych)
The old Jew in the big coat and the fedora,
The Black woman with the print dress and the pocket book,
The gay man in the jeans jacket,
All are awaiting the arrival of their Beloved
on the Bus of the second coming.
Each tells us something of the under-appreciated
Persons of the Trinity, segregated in our world, and from it,
Because They don’t quite fit into our rear-view mirrors,
As we speed along the highway of our pre-occupations.

Crucifix_After_CimabueAfter Cimabue:
The Crucifix has the Blood of Christ falling onto the Holy Spirit,Giving Her Color and Strength, Fulfilling the Gospel of John, Chapter Seven, where he says that “There Was no Spirit Until Christ Released Her”. The mythological Better Mousetrap of Mediaeval Yearnings is this Cross, By It Am I Saved.

The ruined face of the Santa Croce crucifix was an entrée for me into the altarpieces of the Early Renaissance. I could see that this conceit had been promulgated across the face of Europe, this “rood” with Christ and John and Mary on either side. It showed up in illuminated manuscripts, sculpted rood screens, painted retablos, frescoes, and mosaics. It was everywhere. In fact, the cross with a body on it was only just introduced into widespread western iconography in the second millennium. I learned to respect those images through the ruined masterpiece which Cimabue had been commissioned to do for the parish church of Michelangelo, Dante, and Galileo. Destroyed in the flood of 1966, it became for me a symbol of how the Second Person of the Trinity had entered whole-heartedly into our existence, living and dying with us. This painting is beautiful to me in a thoroughly modern way; like found art it says something about treasuring what used to be.

Triptych_and_PredellaThe Triptych of the Heads of the Rood
These three faces have haloes into the underpainting of which I painted the names of my beloved friends and family. In the halo of the Mother of God I painted the names of beloved women, in St. John’s, of beloved men. In the halo of Christ I put the names of my beloved dead and in His scar, the names of artists who have inspired me. This is all memorial and it speaks to me of how Jesus is able to enter into the Entropy of all things because of His everlasting Love.

Masks_of_the_TrinityStains of the Trinity:
Mask of the Father, Empty Canvas of the Spirit, And Bloody Image of Christ (triptych)