Religious Art

I’ve been known to incorporate crosses into my artwork.  I once did a 4 foot painting of a woman wearing what was to be a cross necklace, and the entire painting is completed (and hanging in my garage) except for a blurry spot around where the cross pendant should be.  I could never decide on the perfect cross to paint there.  My obsession with crosses is more pop culture than theological, more 20th Century Madonna than 1st Century Madonna.  There are just endless possibilities of detail and design born from such a simple and elegant shape.

I grew up in a house rife with religious symbolism. Our Roman Catholic family of NINE filed neatly (if not tardily – around the 2nd reading) into Mass every Sunday. My mother hand-painted a statue of St. Therese, placed in it’s own enclave in the living room.  She had a wood and marble alter-like table built with a relic of St. Francis positioned at the front of it.  Our mailbox, I swear, was a miniature to scale version of St. Therese’s house growing up, painted pink and everything.  It had actual windows, and looking through the window, there was a PICTURE OF ST. THERESE as a child on the wall inside the house.  

Being a lapsed Catholic myself, I still have a soft place for religious idolatry. I think it has more to do with my love of history and artistry than with the mystical other-world.  Needless to say, from the moment I saw these, they have been haunting my “to post” folder, calling me from beyond, begging me to give them a home. 

Then I stumbled upon this post from Visual Vamp with these lovely visual morsels:


My husband, lapsed Catholic and Jesuit student from K through Law School, has spent just about as much time as I staring up at crosses.  He has an interesting theory… the cross, Jesus’ cross, was merely an instrument of corporal punishment. So if Jesus had been executed in an electric chair, would Christians all be walking around with electric chair pendants around their necks?  While he has a valid, if not morbid point, I prefer not to let him spoil my fun.

at Solo Cedros in Solana Beach, CA

from Flickr

I want 10,000 of these.  I would give them their own room.

Okay they would have to share with my wine bottles.

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2 Responses to Religious Art

  1. Persephone says:

    I love those Ethiopian crosses. I went to Ethiopia last summer and was blown away by how beautiful they were – I wanted to taken them all home and build a shrine to someone. Clive Owen? Steve Carrell?

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