Monday, December 7, 2009

Art as Act of Grace

Strata XXX, Ash Wednesday - Alfonse Borysewicz (1993); from the cover of the Fall 2001 issue of Image Journal that contained a section called 9/11: "Psalms & Lamentations"

Flannery O'Connor writes, "Redemption is meaningless unless there is cause for it in the actual life we live, and for the last few centuries there has been operating in our culture the secular belief that there is no such cause." In my own forty-four years I have seen the meltdown of my hometown, racial injustice, Vietnam , poverty, the plague of AIDS, our endangered environment, and the narcotic of narcissism, along with my own frailties and self-inflicted stupidities. These have taught me, beyond doubting, that there is cause, that we need redemption desperately. And why painting? As the Renaissance Platonist Gabriele Paleotti noted, through painting is revealed the whole of life: the world of the senses, the world of the intellect, and finally the world of Love. Ultimately, painting leads us to love God's goodness. I want my painting to offer an opposition to our cultural iconoclasm, leading us not only to love God's goodness, but once again to see it.


I began working on a series of paintings called Strata . I walked paint across the canvas in horizontal rows, pushing it from right to left with my palette knife in layers of blue, yellow, pink, and black, like the poet in Tarkovsky's film Nostalgia, who walks a lit candle across a muddy pool, his road to Calvary.

- Alfonse Borysewicz, "Naked Grace," Image, Issue 32 (Fall 2001), p. 26, 34.

Nostalgia - Andrei Tarkovsky (1983)

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