Posts Tagged ‘art’

Happy birthday, Ezra Jack Keats!

If you can believe it, his very first book was the exquisite The Snowy Day

I love the sense of quiet alertness conveyed with those blocks of color,


love that giant Mama,


love the simple portraits of the little sorrows and the great joys of childhood.


This was one of the first children’s books about a black kid.

More seasonable, another of my favorites illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats is Over in the Meadow:


My favorite counting song, so cozy and satisfying, and the pictures are intense and unforgettable.




Happy birthday, Ezra Jack Keats!   Thanks for all the colors.

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We went!  The worst thing that happened was that one kid got a bloody nose on another kid, right in front of a John Singer Sargent.  But that could have happened to anyone.

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More hope for religious art

Elizabeth Scalia posted a link (on Facebook, not on her blog — but she always has tons of good stuff, so check it out!) to this sculpture of the Annunciation, by John Collier:

(photo source:  The Deacon’s Bench)

I know it’s just about impossible to make a judgment based on a photo, but what do you think?  My first thought was that it made reference to the statue of Apollo and Daphne by Bernini:

(photo source)

The artist seems to be stressing the significance of the fig tree.  Intstresting, no?  I prefer the one true God’s means of preserving his faithful daughter’s virginity!  I also thought the face of Mary in the first sculpture hearkened to the  Ecstasy of St. Theresa, also by Bernini.

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The Last Angel

I deliberately made this image too small so you’d have to click on this link to see it bigger!

My brother Joe Prever, who recently started writing for Catholic Phoenix, pointed me in the direction of the artist, Nicholas Roerich, a Russian painter of the early 20th century.  A fascinating guy with varied interests, he did a number of religious paintings.  I’m always on the look-out for new religious art, just to reassure myself that you can combine theology with modernity and come out with something other than the standard issue “my hands are bananas” clip art:

(image source)

I mean, there’s nothing terribly wrong with this kind of picture, except for its pernicious ability to teach bored children flipping through the missalette that religion is for, you know, neanderthals.  Duhhh.   What’s the deal with that, anyway?  Why did 20th century art start showing modern men looking like stodgy, doughy, immobile cave men, while actual cave men were painting elegant, funny, snappy portraits?

(image source)

Why, huh?

Now the original picture again:

Oh, you can’t see that — you better click on the link.  It’s called “The Last Angel.”  I’m trying to wake up the art part of my brain after a long, long sleep, so be patient with me.

Part of what makes this picture so alarming is the aggressive combination of different styles, isn’t it?  The flowers in the foreground are almost primitive, the mountains in the background are Chinese, and those wild, roiling clouds are something like a combination of Cezanne and Rouault.

But the city, the flames, and of course the angel have the flat perspective, the brushwork, and the stylization of a Russian ikon.  The contrast tells you what is going on here:  something really different, SLAMMING into the world.  Days of wrath.  I don’t think this one is saying “Be not afraid.”

Or, as I saw it phrased on a bumper sticker once:  Angels are just teddy bears with wings.

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Mommy Russia Dearest

That title doesn’t make any sense, but at least it doesn’t have a typo, which my  original entry on Inside Catholic did (yeah yeah, I fixed it).  Check it out, and thanks to always-alert Sarah Breisch for the idea.

Seriously:  is this any way to say “good morning,” even in Russian?

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St. Michael the Samurai

Maybe I should have read the blogging tutorial, but it’s too late now:  my first blog post is up on the new, improved Inside Catholic.  It’s about this:

by Daniel Mitsui, spotted on Korrektiv.

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