Forty days and forty nights

forty daysforty nights

Forty days and forty nights (studies)

The image of the Savior appears to be in certain desert like landscape, but it is not fully defined. The Lord wanted and needed to be alone. As He went to the desert to meditate and pray, the artist metaphorically isolates him in such a way that the surroundings also seem to disappear in a suggestion of forms, scarce vegetation and rocks.

Even when He had the privilege of being the Son of God, he made a personal effort to elevate his spirit and meditate at the beginning of His mission.  It was a breaking point from a secular life to a full time mission. Jesus, assuming his role completely, claimed for a long time to receive divine help acknowledging that even He needed the help and favor of God. He even confronted temptations and had a moment of struggle when his human side demanded some physical needs, but the transcendence of his mission required a victory of the spiritual over the physical.  This event required an intensity of self-control unsuspected to us.

During this trial, many of the things that we humans pursuit in life were present; power, riches, satisfaction.  The Lord came out triumphant overcoming all temptations.

The two paintings invite us to reflection. If the Lord did it, we must do it too. We all need moments of isolation to achieve a complete connection or communion with the spiritual world to realize that there are things bigger than ourselves and that perhaps we are instruments in God’s hands to achieve His holy purpose.

We are all faced with contradicting needs and wants, especially when personal sacrifices must be done in order to benefit others instead of ourselves. It requires an intense mental and spiritual effort, and yes, it also requires Heavenly help.

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The Parables

Go and do likewise (the Good Samaritan) Oil on canvas 36 by 48 inches. (2016)

 

Like a grain of mustard. Oil on canvas (2017)

 

Pearl of great price. Oil on canvas (2017)

 

Ten virgins. (2017)

 

The good shepherd (2017)

 

The lost coin. (2017) Oil on canvas

 

The lost sheep (2017)

 

The rock and the sand. (2017) Oil on canvas

 

The sower (2017)

 

The two ways (2017)

the shepherd

The Shepherd (2017)

The wheat and the tares (2017)

 

The burning (2017)

 

The prodigal son (2017)

 

The Lord of the parables (2017)

 

 

The Ten Virgins -Parables series

ten-virgins-color

The Ten Virgins

The location of the two groups is clearly differentiated; it serves to describe the tale and to provide symbolism.

A) The group of the foolish virgins on the left are placed in the background of the room and contained or enclosed in a virtual rectangle of blue and purple hues with low light. Their expression is obviously passive.

B) The group of the five wise virgins is in the foreground, to the right of the painting, changing to warmer color tones connecting with the yellow-orange light from the exterior. In that area it is evident the proximity of the group accompanying the husband. The attitude of these five figures is expectant, in controlled dynamic and collaborative gestures. The balance and unity of the scene was achieved by distributing the light and dark planes and by arranging the composite structure of open shapes.

I was a stranger -series

I was a stranger m1

I was a stranger #2 oil on canvas

I was a stranger #3

I was a stranger #4

I was a stranger #5

When I decided to work on the series of paintings I was a stranger, my purpose was not to retell a chronicle or event, past or present.  Journalistic photography can do a better job documenting a migration of refugees. A portrait can certainly move you, but an abstract piece can evoke deeper, higher order thinking.  My main idea is to express a human drama, individual and collective and perhaps help people gain more sensibility towards these brothers and sisters of our human race, making a call to be more empathic and understanding towards those less fortunate. Obviously, I named this series I was a stranger making reference on the words of the Savior cited in Matthew 25:35-40

35. For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in…

40. Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

To be able to convey some of the feelings a stranger might go through, I used geometric blocks, with a number of human shapes all boxed together. Some of those figures are more realistic and some are more abstract. The reality which we live can be so daunting at times that everything seems abstract, almost like living in a surrealistic dream.  These paintings interpret uncertainty, no sky or heavens, no progress, no front, no back, no future, no past. These are the feelings of the strangers.

In the painting where people are seen more clearly, the human block appears to be suspended or surrounded by a one-color emptiness. Each of these human figures has different attitudes and priorities, which are typical of refugees, strangers, and immigrants.  One of them looks back, to the past and all things left behind; another faces forward, another carries a burden, another takes care of a child, another bows in despair while others are elevated by the new horizon of hopeful opportunities. All these are part of “forced feelings” imposed on the temporal condition of being a stranger.

Another symbolism I used by boxing the strangers together is to demonstrate that people unite and form one compact, consolidated group when they share the same experiences,  thus understanding one another in a better way. They react as one, with more empathy as they are affected by an extreme situation. The individual human shapes almost melt into a new, larger entity. The group is reduced to one small place. The rest of the space is great and abstract, not understood, not comprehended. It is a desert with no clear path or road. They are surrounded by no one and nothing, they only have each other. In some paintings I depicted several groups, which is the situation of our days, the problem multiplies when several groups for several reasons live the same scenario.  Will we stay immobile or will we be moved to action?  I close with this quote by Patrick Kearon “This moment does not define the refugees, but our response will help define us.”

Ministry of Christ collection

08.30x40

Feed them. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

the call -web

The call. 2015. Oil on canvas 100 x 80 cms.

Tumba vacía

Empty tomb. 2016. Oil on canvas 30 x 40″.

jcUntitled1 001

The ordination of apostles. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

01.30x40

The Gadarene. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

02.30x40

Resurrection.2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

03.30x40

The last supper, 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

04.30x40

Your faith has made you whole. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

05.30x40

The baptism. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

06.30x40

Gethsemane (Jesus is my light.) 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

07.30x40

The daughter of Jairus. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

09.30x40

The hem of his garment. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

10.30x40

It is finished. 2016. Oil on canvas, 30×40″

la pesca milagrosa web

Cast the net and ye shall find. 2016. Oil on canvas 30×40″

sermon on the mount web

The Sermon on the Mount. 2016, oil on canvas 30×40″

jcPeaceCalm 001

The Tempest—Peace, be still. 2016.Oil on canvas, 30×40″

lazarus web

Lazarus, come forth. 2016. Oil on canvas, 30×40″

The last supper

The Last Supper. This piece is part of the Ministry of Christ collection. The original 30 x 40 inches oil on canvas was acquired by the Museum of Art and History of the Church, in Salt lake City, UT.  The painting depicts the Savior sitting at the table in the middle of the twelve disciples. A ray of light, signifying inspiration and holiness, comes through a window and enlightens the Deity. Judas, the traitor, can be easily discovered because he is the only disciple turning his back on the Lord.