4 Comments

  1. Serena Pandos

    Thank you Jonathan, for the interview. And thank you Orthodox Arts Journal, Andrew Gould, for these wonderful continuing treasures. The work of Alex Aleksejevas is moving and changes my perception / understanding of our sacred art. His story is inspires me. His work, even more. The Prince’s School is doing some wonderful work. How wonderful to have a place for a PhD study in this.

    I have been reading the Orthodox Arts Journal for a couple of years now, thanks to Fr. Antonio Perdomo and Matushka Elizabeth Perdomo here in Pharr, Texas for introducing it to me. The articles have always interested me. In fact, I just returned home to Texas yesterday, from a trip to Holy Ascension Orthodox Church in South Carolina, to attend the Iconography Symposium organized by Andrew Gould. These programs (I have also studied with the wonderful Hexaemeron program, which I see is endorsed here) help me greatly as an Orthodox Iconographer. At this point, they are currently helping me in my graduate work towards an MFA degree here at my local University (University of Texas Pan-American) that is situated on the boarder of Mexico. My MFA thesis (“by coincidence”) that was approved well before I got word of the Symposium, explores exactly what the Iconography Symposium was about ~ the visual implications of up-holing an ancient tradition in our contemporary times. Knowing that synchronicity is a gift, I flew out to South Carolina to attend this Symposium and it was well worth it. I am so grateful for all these opportunities and that I was able to attend; it was a life changing experience in a positive way. I am beginning to understand my purpose.

    The synchronicity I find through OJA is happening again now after reading this article. My (undergraduate) BFA was in Metal Fabrication (bronze casting). I was assistant to Civic Monument Sculptors Raymond Kaskey and Arturo Di Modica, helping the maestros create “Charging Bull” (NYC, Wall St Park) and “Wisdom & Courage” (Santa Anna California, Ronald Regan Courthouse) bronze cast monuments. Alex Aleksejevas’ work makes sense to me. The bronze casting work didn’t appear to have a place for me, in my understanding of the Icon, until just now, even though I worked as an Art Handler, with the magnificent collection of Icons (in egg tempera and in ivory relief) and Byzantine Manuscripts for 7 years at The Walters Art Museum. And so this being part of my journey naturally opens my mind and heart to another solution. So it is with deep gratitude I write, just to give thanks for helping me learn and grow along the way. I have been thirsting for this type of learning, for so many years and give thanks it is being revealed yet again.

    Many many thanks ,for all that all of you, for the Glory of God.

  2. These sculptures are yet another wonderful example of traditional, canonical art made fresh and new again. Especially interesting is the presence of overt influence from modernist 20th-century sculpture – the use of deliberate unrefinement and primitive/childish details, such as the lettering in the inscriptions. We normally think of modernist influence as being a great danger to sacred art (and very often it is), but these sculptures really work – they are truly prayerful icons. This goes to show that the tradition is resilient enough to handle foreign influences, and can baptize even the most ‘fallen’ of styles.

    1. Baker Galloway

      Is it fair to say that folk art (or the influence thereof) is typically characterized by an enlargement of details (facial features, lettering, facial expression) that would normally want precision execution but that must be crafted using un-precise/larger tools and/or in a medium that does not receive detail well?

      This seems to me to be a binding link that ties folk arts of various cultures together around the world. I haven’t heard it expressed before but probably y’all who went to art school know the answer to this.

  3. Albertus

    Thank you for this very interesting article on the bronze ikons of Aleksejevas. Aciu!
    But there are 8, not one, bronze icon door in Italy, that are described in the article here below:
    http://www.academia.edu/7266932/Le_porte_bronzee_bizantine_in_Italia_arte_e_tecnologia_nel_Mediterraneo_medievale

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