Wednesday, February 8, 2017

30 Works, RELIGIOUS ART - Contemporary Interpretation of the Bible! With Footnotes - 5

This post you are about to view contain some nude photographs.  If you are offended by nudity, if you are younger than 18 years of age, or if viewing nude images is not legal where you live, please go back.

Francis Newton Souza, 1924 - 2002
Oil on canvas
138 x 170.5 cm. (54 ¼ x 67 ⅛ in.)
Private Collection

In this painting, following the Gospel account, Souza depicts the scene of Christ’s burial; specifically the moving of his body. Pontius Pilate had given permission to Joseph of Arimathea to take down and bury Christ's body. Joseph is the man to the left. To the right is Nicodemus. John the Evangelist holds Christ's right hand. The grieving Mary is comforted by Mary Magdalene.

In this work, Souza adopts his composition from Titian’s Entombment of Christ. The fact that he chose to emulate Titian is poignant. His devotion for the Venetian icon stimulated him to reproduce many of Titian’s most iconic masterpieces.  More

Francis Newton Souza (12 April 1924 – 28 March 2002), was an Indian artist. He was a founding member of the Progressive Artists' Group of Bombay, and was the first post-independence Indian artist to achieve high recognition in the West.

Souza was born in Goa to Roman Catholic parents. In 1929, after he had moved to Mumbai with his family, he survived attack of smallpox which left him scarred for life. His mother added Francis to his name, after St Francis Xavier, the patron saint of Goa.

In 1947 he was a founding member of the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group which encouraged Indian artists to participate in the international avant-garde.

In 1948 Souza's paintings were shown at an exhibition in London's Burlington House . In 1949 Souza moved to London, where initially struggling to make an impact as an artist, he worked as a journalist. The Institute of Contemporary Arts included his work in a 1954 exhibition. His success as an artist took off following the publication in 1955 of his autobiographical essay Nirvana of a Maggot in Stephen Spender's Encounter magazine. Spender introduced Souza to the art dealer Victor Musgrave, the owner of Gallery One. Souza's 1955 exhibit was a sold out.

Souza's career developed steadily, and he participated in several shows, receiving positive reviews from John Berger. At the heart of Souza's creativity was the belief that society's destructive aspects shouldn't be suppressed, they should be aired and confronted. Be it the hypocrisy of the church, the corruption of the upper classes or the repression of sexuality in a country that has a Khajuraho, he was uncovering the underbelly of existence.

From 1967 he settled in New York City, only to return to India shortly before his death. Souza was buried in Sewri cemetery in Mumbai, in a quiet funeral on 30 March 2002. More Francis Newton Souza 

Reuven Rubin, 1893 - 1974
On the road to Jerusalem, c. 1967
Oil on canvas
15 x 18 1/4 in
Private Collection

Reuven Rubin (November 13, 1893 – October 13, 1974) was a Romanian-born Israeli painter.  He was born in Galaţi to a poor Romanian family. He was the eighth of 13 children. In 1912, he left for Ottoman-ruled Palestine to study art at Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. Finding himself at odds with the artistic views of the Academy's teachers, he left for Paris, France, in 1913 to pursue his studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. At the outbreak of World War I, he was returned to Romania, where he spent the war years.

In 1921, he traveled to the United States with his friend and fellow artist, Arthur Kolnik, with whom he had shared a studio in Cernăuţi. In New York City, the two met artist Alfred Stieglitz, who was instrumental in organizing their first American show at the Anderson Gallery. Following the exhibition, in 1922, they both returned to Europe. In 1923, Rubin emigrated to Mandate Palestine.

In Palestine, he became one of the founders of the new Eretz-Yisrael style. Recurring themes in his work were the biblical landscape, folklore and people, including Yemenite, Hasidic Jews and Arabs. He died in Tel Aviv in October 1974. More Reuven Rubin

Alexey Kondakov 
The Daily Life of Gods

How would you see the classical gods who have been portrayed in art, in the subway, a liquor store or walking the dog? The Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov has rescued mythological figures and introduced them into environments of the XXI century. The David and Goliath Caravaggio and nymphs of Bouguereau, for example, now buy records, or relax on the bus; in this series called ' The Daily Life of Gods '. "I suddenly realized that the heroes of these masterpieces were investing their time just as we do. I wondered what happens if I invite them to our reality and imagine them in the streets of modern Kiev?" He explains. More The Daily Life of Gods

Alexey Kondakov: "I was born in Donetsk. My father worked as miner, my mother was employed as full-time engineer. My grandfather's hobby during World War II – was sketching and drawing between battles.

I have been drawing since I was a kid. Now I'm making a living as a designer, as well as exploring different areas of visual culture, whether it's painting, fine art, sculpture, new media... Creativity has no limits, why should I?" More Alexey Kondakov

Eckl Vilma, 1892 - 1982
Chalk on paper
19 x 24;8 inch;
Private collection

In portraying this devotion; Vilma Eckl consciously renounced color to better accentuate expression and intimacy. The closed eyes and folded hands increase the intimacy of the drawing as well as the suppression of a background. More

Vilma Eckl, 1892 Enns-Lorch - 26.8.1892 Enns-Lorch (Upper Austria), † 10.6.1982 LinzFrom 1906 Vilma took lessons at the Linzer Malschulen and worked with. Tarnoczy and R. Scherer 1919-21. From 1919 she became a member of the artists 'association' Ring, later the artists band 'März' in Switzerland, She travelled to Italy, Yugoslavia and Germany, and since 1949 became a member of the Vienna Secession.

In Vilma Eckl's oeuvre the presentation of the working world became a special position, particularly the farmers' work which is characterized by its seasonal cycle.  The visualization of displaced persons and refugees, beside the interest of showing their traditional costumes which they wore during specific festivities (e.g. weddings, confirmations). The creative creations of the unique artist were compared to the work of Käthe Kollwitz.  More Vilma Eckl

Eckl Vilma, 1892 - 1982

Adam and Eve, according to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, were the first man and woman and the ancestors of all humans. The story of Adam and Eve is central to the belief that YHWH created human beings to live in a paradise on earth, although they fell away from that state and formed the present world full of suffering and injustice. It provides the basis for the belief that humanity is in essence a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors. It also provides much of the scriptural basis for the doctrines of the fall of man and original Sin, important beliefs in Christianity, although not generally shared by Judaism or Islam. More

Dave Levingston
Adam & Eve

Dave Levingston. A photographer for more than 40 years, Levingston has concentrated on photographing the female figure, often outdoors in natural settings, since 2002.  He believes the female body is the original aesthetic object, the source of all our ideas of what is beautiful.  While he doesn’t focus on the erotic in his work, he also does not shun it, embracing the idea that a photograph of a nude woman cannot help but be somewhat erotic.  However, his work is primarily about form and texture, light, shadow and color and the relationship of the female body to the natural forms of our environment. More Dave Levingston.

Dave Levingston
Model, Brooke Lynne

Adi Nes, B. 1966
Chromogenic print
55 by 55 in., 140 by 140 cm
Private collection

Hagar looking into the distance, hand raised to a worried face, holds the burden of motherhood on her slouched shoulders. The biblical Hagar, cast out into the wilderness; cast out from society, begging in a dilapidated stairwell: stories of despair and uncertainty. More

Hagar is a biblical person in the Book of Genesis Chapter 16. She was an Egyptian handmaid of Sarah, who gave her to Abraham "to wife" to bear a child. The product of the union was Abraham's firstborn, Ishmael, the progenitor of the Ishmaelites.
After Sarah gave birth to Isaac, and the tension between the women returned. At a celebration after Isaac was weaned, Sarah found the teenage Ishmael mocking her son, and demanded that Abraham send Hagar and her son away. She declared that Ishmael would not share in Isaac's inheritance. Abraham was greatly distressed but God told Abraham to do as his wife commanded because God's promise would be carried out through both Isaac and Ishmael.
The name Hagar originates from the Book of Genesis, and is only alluded to in the Qur'an. She is considered Abraham's second wife in the Islamic faith and acknowledged in all Abrahamic faiths. In mainstream Christianity, she is considered a concubine to Abraham. More Hagar

Bathsheba, 2014
63 × 51 1/5 in, 160 × 130 cm

Photographer Michal Baratz Koren (b. 1978) re-stages narratives of the lesser-known, but significant, women of the Old Testament. Based in Tel Aviv, Koren imagines these women as powerful figures, investing them with an agency that merits fuller stories than the mere mention they receive in the Bible. Inspired by the large-scale tableaus of the Renaissance and Neoclassical period, Koren stages her sitters, most of them family and acquaintances dressed in flea-market garments, in traditional compositions elevated by the lush, soft lighting akin to that of Jacques Louis David, Jean-Léon Gérôme, or Raphael. Bathsheba imagines a moment before her famous encounter with King David (who is commonly depicted in the moment of seducing her), where Bathsheba, draped in pearls and surrounded by attendants, is the one who commands the tools of seduction. More Michal Baratz Koren 

According to the Hebrew Bible, "Bat Sheva," , "daughter of the oath"; was the wife of Uriah the Hittite and later of David, king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah. She is most known for the Bible story in which she was summoned by King David who had seen her bathing and lusted after her.
Bathsheba was from David's own tribe and the granddaughter of one of David's closest advisors. She was the mother of Solomon, who succeeded David as king, making her the Queen Mother. More

Jehudith, 2014
63 × 44 9/10 in, 160 × 114 cm

The Book of Judith is the Old Testament of the Bible. The story revolves around Judith, a daring and beautiful widow, who is upset with her Jewish countrymen for not trusting God to deliver them from their foreign conquerors. She goes with her loyal maid to the camp of the enemy general, Holofernes, with whom she slowly ingratiates herself, promising him information on the Israelites. Gaining his trust, she is allowed access to his tent one night as he lies in a drunken stupor. She decapitates him, then takes his head back to her fearful countrymen. The Assyrians, having lost their leader, disperse, and Israel is saved. Though she is courted by many, Judith remains unmarried for the rest of her life. More

Adam & Eve, 2014
57 1/10 × 86 3/5 in, 145 × 220 cm

Adam and Eve, according to the creation myth of the Abrahamic religions, were the first man and woman and the ancestors of all humans. The story of Adam and Eve is central to the belief that YHWH created human beings to live in a paradise on earth, although they fell away from that state and formed the present world full of suffering and injustice. It provides the basis for the belief that humanity is in essence a single family, with everyone descended from a single pair of original ancestors. It also provides much of the scriptural basis for the doctrines of the fall of man and original Sin, important beliefs in Christianity, although not generally shared by Judaism or Islam. More

Daughters of Lot, 2014
C- Print
55 1/10 × 43 3/10 in, 140 × 110 cm

Lot is a person mentioned in the biblical Book of Genesis chapters 11–14 and 19. Notable episodes in his life include his travels with his uncle Abram (Abraham), his flight from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, during which Lot's wife became a pillar of salt, and the seduction by his daughters so that they could bear children.
The story, usually called Lot and his daughters, has been the subject of many paintings over the centuries, and became one of the subjects in the Power of Women group of subjects, warning men against the dangers of succumbing to the temptations of women, while also providing an opportunity for an erotic depiction. The scene generally shows Lot and his daughters eating and drinking in their mountain refuge. Usually the background contains a small figure of Lot's wife, and in the distance the city or cities burn. More

Fritz Aigner, (1930-2005)
The Mocking of Christ from the cycle: Ecce Homo; 1970
Aquatint etching on paper
33;5 x 27;6 inch;
Private collection

Ecce homo are the Latin words used by Pontius Pilate in the Vulgate translation of John 19:5, when he presents a scourged Jesus Christ, bound and crowned with thorns, to a hostile crowd shortly before his Crucifixion. The Douay-Rheims Bible translates the phrase into English as "Behold the man!" [John 19:5] The scene has been widely depicted in Christian art. More

Fritz Aigner (July 13, 1930 – January 9, 2005) was an Austrian graphic artist and painter. Aigner studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1947 to 1952. In 1952 he won an Austrian state fine arts prize for his artwork Die Klage des verlorgenen Sohnes. He worked later as an artist in Spain, Ireland, London and his hometown, Linz.

Aigner's work was overtly influenced by that of Rembrandt, notably in his oil painting Rembrandts Trick mit dem Licht. He was nicknamed "the Rembrandt of Linz". His artwork often featured dark, acherontic and apocalyptic scenes with allusions to society and well-known society figures.

After his death an Austrian journalist described Aigner as "an artist who dealt with the conflict areas eros and religion and between surrealism, realism and fantastic realism. Even allusions to the border of caricature can be found in his work. More

Denise Prince
The Sacrament of Initiation
30 H x 30 W
Private Collection

My photograph of Le Train Bleu in Paris is the setting for this work inspired by 15th Century painting. The subdued tones are meant to evoke the religious canon and add a sense of reverence to the youth. My favorite thing in this work is the emotion on the boy at left's face. He appears to me as if he might cry which brings an unexpected worldliness to the exquisite beauty of his youth.

All of my photography is captured on film, using a Hasselblad medium format camera. I personally handle all styling, retouching and compositing with a painstaking eye for detail. This work was commissioned by a private client and is available in additional sizes. More

Denise Prince is an American photographer. Lucy Soutter Denise Prince is a professor at the Global Center for Advanced Studies. She was educated in fine arts and critical theory at CalArts. She has exhibited nationally and internationally for twenty years. Prince spent twelve years in LA and NY, where she studied fine art and critical theory at CalArts before returning to Texas. She is known for her permanent installation of photography in the W Hotel lobby as well as for making work that is often provocative in a considerate and substantive way. More Denise Prince

The Sacrament of Initiation. According to Catholic theology, the way the sacraments of initiation are celebrated is meant to bring a neophyte to experience and know, through visible sacramental signs and gestures, eternal life and grace Jesus has brought into this world. They are always accompanied by the Word of God.[1] Particular focus is placed on the paschal mystery of Christ's death and resurrection. The privileged time of celebrating them is Easter, and by the 4th century it was accepted as the normal time of administering them, although it was also allowed on Pentecost. More The Sacrament of Initiation

Juan Manuel COSSÍO, b. 1960
See Caravaggio's, The Entombment of Christ, below
Acrylic on panel
Private Collection

Juan Manuel COSSÍO was born in Madrid in 1960. He studied Art and History at the city’s University Complutense and between 1980 and 1985 he worked as a Copyist at the Museo del Prado. From 1986 Cossio was a student of Manuel Franquelo, one of Spain’s leading hyper-realist painters. Juan Cossio currently lives and works in Madrid. 

Cossio uses an airbrush to create these beautifully detailed paintings. He dresses his characters in white robes and places them in functional, minimalistic interiors. This leaves the context of his paintings devoid of time or place. The women’s facial expressions and the placement of their bodies become the most important subject in each piece, rather than the clothes they wear or the spaces they inhabit. The artist often seems to have taken as a starting point a classical composition from one of the Old Masters and transported the arrangement into another dimension, and leaves us with an expertly depicted arrangement of figures in empty space. More

Caravaggio (1571–1610)
The Entombment of Christ, circa 1602–1603

Edward Burra, (1905-1976)
Susanna and the Elders
Pencil, watercolour and gouache
30 x 52 ½ in. (76.2 x 133.3 cm.)
Private Collection

Edward Burra (British, 1905–1976) was a British painter and printmaker best known for his large-scale watercolor paintings, as well as for his landscapes and still lifes. The artist depicted scenes of the seedy urban underbelly, black culture, and 1930s Harlem in New York City. Born on March 29, 1905 in London, United Kingdom, Burra studied at the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art under Randolph Schwabe and Raymond Coxon. He frequently collaborated with artist Paul Nash and was part of Nash’s Unit One, a British group of Modernist artists that included John Armstrong, Frances Mary Hodgkins, and Henry Moore. Burra was an avid traveler, but following the outbreak of World War II found himself unable to leave the country. During this period, the artist found success designing scenery and costumes for opera, ballet, and theater. His works are in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, and the Art Institute of Chicago, among others. Burra died on October 22, 1976 in Hastings, United Kingdom at the age of 71. More Edward Burra (British, 1905–1976)

Jan Saudek, b. 1935
Pieta no. 1
24 x 22.2 cm
Black and white / photo paper
Private Collection

The Pietà is a subject in Christian art depicting the Virgin Mary cradling the dead body of Jesus, most often found in sculpture. As such, it is a particular form of the Lamentation of Christ, a scene from the Passion of Christ found in cycles of the Life of Christ. When Christ and the Virgin are surrounded by other figures from the New Testament, the subject is strictly called a Lamentation in English, although Pietà is often used for this as well, and is the normal term in Italian. More

Jan Saudek (born 13 May 1935 in Prague, Czechoslovakia) is a Czech art photographer and painter. Saudek's was a Jew and his family to become a target of the Nazis. Many of his family died in Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II.

According to Saudeks's biography, he got his first camera, a Kodak Baby Brownie, in 1950. He apprenticed to a photographer and in 1952 started working as a print shop worker, where he worked until 1983. In 1959, he started painting and drawing. After completing his military service, he was inspired in 1963 by the catalogue for Edward Steichen's The Family of Man exhibition, to try to become a serious art photographer. In 1969, he traveled to the United States and was encouraged in his work by curator Hugh Edwards.

Returning to Prague, he was forced to work in a clandestine manner in a cellar, to avoid the attentions of the secret police, as his work turned to themes of personal erotic freedom, and used implicitly political symbols of corruption and innocence. From the late 1970s, he became recognized in the West as the leading Czech photographer. In 1983, the first book of his work was published in the English-speaking world. The same year, he became a freelance photographer as the Czech Communist authorities allowed him to cease working in the print shop, and gave him permission to apply for a permit to work as an artist. More Jan Saudek

ARTHUR BOYD (1920-1999) 
Untitled (Crucifix) 
coloured etching, # 14/30 
49 x 74cm
Private Collection

Arthur Merric Bloomfield Boyd AC OBE (24 July 1920 – 24 April 1999) was a leading Australian painter of the late 20th century. Boyd's work ranges from impressionist renderings of Australian landscape to starkly expressionist figuration, and many canvases feature both. Several famous works set Biblical stories against the Australian landscape, such as The Expulsion (1947–48) (below), now at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Having a strong social conscience, Boyd's work deals with humanitarian issues and universal themes of love, loss and shame.

Arthur Boyd, Australia, England, 24 Jul 1920 - 24 Apr 1999
The expulsion, c. (1947-1948)
Oil on hardboard
101.6 x 122.0 cm board; 113.0 x 
Art Gallery of New South Wales

'The expulsion' completes Arthur Boyd’s cycle of biblical-themed paintings which he began in 1944. Based on the Old Testament story of Adam and Eve expelled by God from the Garden of Eden, the figures recall the work of 15th-century Florentine painter, Masaccio. Boyd transposes this early Renaissance pictorial idea into an Australian wilderness.

The focus of 'The expulsion' is not so much the biblical narrative as a poignant depiction of Boyd’s concern for lovers denied privacy, which he had experienced when courting his future wife, Yvonne, after his conscription into the army.

I see lovers as victims …They suffer from being unprivate, watched. Love becomes guilt because it is frustrated. Pictures with animals or another human figure watching lovers are intended to give the idea of spying, a disturbance, a breaking into the moment of privacy. Arthur Boyd, 1981

Boyd was a member of the Antipodeans, a group of Melbourne painters that also included Clifton Pugh, David Boyd, John Brack, Robert Dickerson, John Perceval and Charles Blackman.

In 1993, Arthur and Yvonne Boyd gave family properties comprising 1,100 hectares (2,700 acres) at Bundanon on the Shoalhaven River to the people of Australia. Held in trust, Boyd later donated further property, artwork, and the copyright to all of his work. More Arthur Boyd

Arthur Boyd, Australia, England, 24 Jul 1920 - 24 Apr 1999
Samson and Delilah
Ceramic painting
43 x 50.5 cm
Private collection

Delilah is a woman in the Book of Judges, where she is the "woman in the valley of Sorek" whom Samson loved, and who was his downfall. Her figure, one of several dangerous temptresses in the Hebrew Bible, has become emblematic: "Samson loved Delilah, she betrayed him, and, what is worse, she did it for money."
The story of Samson in Judges 13–16 portrays a man who was given great strength by God but who ultimately loses his strength when Delilah allows the Philistines to shave his hair during his slumber (Judges 16:19). Samson was born into an Israelite family, the son of Manoah and his wife who is never named. Both are visited by the Angel of the Lord and told that their child will be a Nazirite from birth. More Delilah

Arthur Boyd, Australia, England, 24 Jul 1920 - 24 Apr 1999
Prodigal Son in Bush, c. 1970
Oil on board
79.5 x 105.0 cm
Private Collection

The Parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the parables of Jesus Christ, which he shares it with his disciples, the Pharisees and others.

In the story, a father has two sons. The younger son asks for his inheritance and after wasting his fortune, becomes destitute. He returns home with the intention of begging his father to be made one of his hired servants, expecting his relationship with his father is likely severed. The father welcomes him back and celebrates his return. The older son refuses to participate. The father reminds the older son that one day he will inherit everything. But, they should still celebrate the return of the younger son because he was lost and is now found. More Prodigal Son

David Barnett
Saint Michel, Flight No.5, c. 2014
Mixed media
28.5 x 20 x 8.5 inches
Private Collection

​Artist Statement:

​Combining found elements with those fashioned by my own hand, my work encompasses two- and three-dimensional collage as well as sculptural objects. Infused with a rich sense of history, the essence of my work lies in the age-old struggle between nature and the man-made industrial world. My challenge is to convey that sense of conflict in way that resonates with the viewer. 

David Barnett
Gabriel, Flight No. 4, c. 2013
Mixed media
24 x 36 x 14 inches
Private Collection

I incorporate Victorian era botanical imagery, ancient anatomical diagrams, and vintage mechanical components along with natural materials. Whether it’s a rusty piece of metal, branches from an oak tree, or tiny turquoise-tipped rooster feathers, the right juxtaposition reveals itself to me—the more absurd, the better. A character is born and a narrative begins to unravel. The theme of flight is recurrent, as is the conflation of anatomy and mechanics. The result is a menagerie of ethereal winged creatures, human and animal hybrids, and fanciful flying machines. In this era of mass-production and instant gratification, it’s my hope that these intimate and meticulously crafted works will also evoke a sense of rarity, delight, and mystery.. More

David Barnett, (American, born 1947)
Sacred Creatures, 2010
Sculptures, mixed media
16.25 x 7.5 in. (41.3 x 19 cm.)
Private Collection

Craigie Aitchison, R.A., 1926-2009
Etching printed in colours with carborundum and handcolouring, on wove paper
numbered 26/50, 
76.2 by 65cm.; 30 by 25 5/8 in.
Private Collection

John Ronald Craigie Aitchison CBE RSA RA (13 January 1926 – 21 December 2009) was a Scottish painter. He was best known for his many paintings of the Crucifixion, one of which hangs behind the altar in the chapter house of Liverpool Cathedral, Italian landscapes, and portraits (mainly of black men, or of dogs). His simple style with bright, childlike colours defied description, and was compared to the Scottish Colourists, primitivists or naive artists, although Brian Sewell dismissed him as "a painter of too considered trifles".

His career-long fascination with the crucifixion was triggered by a visit to see Salvador Dalí's Christ of St John of the Cross in 1951 after it was acquired by the Kelvingrove Gallery. More John Ronald Craigie Aitchison

Craigie Aitchison, R.A., 1926-2009
Crucifixion 9, c. 1987
Oil paint on canvas
2147 x 1830 mm

'Sermon' (from Jesus is My Homeboy)
Digital chromogenic print

David LaChapelle (born March 11, 1963) is an American commercial photographer, fine-art photographer, music video director, film director, and artist.

He is best known for his photography, which often references art history and sometimes conveys social messages. His photographic style has been described as "hyper-real and slyly subversive" and as "kitsch pop surrealism". Once called the Fellini of photography, LaChapelle has worked for international publications and has had his work exhibited commercial galleries and institutions around the world. More David LaChapelle

'Intervention' (from Jesus is My Homeboy)
Digital chromogenic print

David LaChapelle ‘s Meditation series reinterprets traditional religious scenes in contemporary settings. David LaChapelle ’s preference for transcendent themes, such as the divine presence in everyday matters or the inevitable moment of our death, is well represented in David LaChapelle ‘s Meditation, of which Jesus is My Homeboy and What Will You Wear When You Are Dead are a part. More Homeboy

 Irene Caesar, b. 1963
Susanna and the Elders, c. 2015
Triptych: left

Susanna and the Elders. A fair Hebrew wife named Susanna was falsely accused by lecherous voyeurs. As she bathes in her garden, having sent her attendants away, two lustful elders secretly observe the lovely Susanna. When she makes her way back to her house, they accost her, threatening to claim that she was meeting a young man in the garden unless she agrees to have sex with them.

 Irene Caesar, b. 1963
Susanna and the Elders, c. 2015
Triptych: center

She refuses to be blackmailed and is arrested and about to be put to death for promiscuity when a young man named Daniel interrupts the proceedings, shouting that the elders should be questioned to prevent the death of an innocent. After being separated, the two men are questioned about details of what they saw, but disagree about the tree under which Susanna supposedly met her lover. In the Greek text, the names of the trees cited by the elders form puns with the sentence given by Daniel. The first says they were under a mastic, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to cuthim in two. The second says they were under an evergreen oak tree, and Daniel says that an angel stands ready to saw him in two. The great difference in size between a mastic and an oak makes the elders' lie plain to all the observers. The false accusers are put to death, and virtue triumphs. More

 Irene Caesar, b. 1963
Susanna and the Elders, c. 2015
Triptych: right

Irene Caesar, Ph.D., (born 10 September 1963 in St. Petersburg, Russia) is a Russian-American conceptual artist and philosopher. She became a professional artist in 1988, and came to prominence in Russia in the early 1990s, with articles about her in major Russian newspapers of that time. As a way of questioning modern art, Caesar created a series of photographic portraits of some well-known critics, film directors, and artists, including Arthur Danto, Vitaly Komar, Alexander Melamid, Slava Tsukerman, Vadim Perelman, which she produced as absurd role-games. Caesar participated in the dissident movement in Russia, was invited by Marina Salye to make a speech at the Founding Conference of the Free Democratic Party of Russia during the 1991 Putsch, and produced the series of portraits of important dissidents. Critics emphasized that the uniqueness of Caesar’s creativity consists in the fact that, for the first time in the history of art, a woman – from a woman’s point of view -- gives an assessment of such a wide scope of human ideas via her art. More Irene Caesar

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