Iconography and Theory
Fr. Silouan Justiniano was born in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to non-Orthodox parents in May 5, 1973. His family moved to the US in 1985 and soon after his arrival he discovered art history through a friend who introduced him to the masters of the Renaissance. This engendered in him a love for drawing and painting which eventually lead him to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Upon completing his undergraduate work in 1995, he entered the Master of Fine Arts program in Hunter College, of the City University of New York, which he completed in 1999. In 1997 he embraced Orthodoxy with his family. Drawn to monastic life, in 2002 Fr. Silouan was tonsured a monk and in 2006 he was ordained to the priesthood. He is part of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross (ROCOR) in Long Island, NY. His obediences in the monastery consist of serving the the daily cycle of services and painting icons. It was in fact in the monastery where, through the blessing and guidance of his his spiritual father, Fr. Silouan learned icon painting – by a thorough research of medieval egg-tempera techniques.
Throughout the years before discovering icon painting, Fr. Silouan experimented with various styles of figuration and abstraction, searching for a visual language to communicate the Sacred in art, but grew disillusioned with the art world’s fragmentary theories and the cult of novelty. The yearning for a way of visually manifesting the Sacred, a way of expressing the transcendent in the immanent, through painting as symbol, was ultimately fulfilled in his encounter with the Icon.
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