Friday, April 8, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: St. Christopher

St. Christopher by Daniel Mitsui
I've mentioned before how much I love Daniel Mitsui's art, especially when he does an Asian take on Catholic saints and topics. I especially appreciate his explanations of the creative process for the symbolism. You can see that care and thought that go into his art from this excerpt of the St. Christopher page, which I encourage you to read in its entirety at the link.
I wanted the image to convey this weight bearing down upon the saint, and this determined much of the surrounding imagery, which represents all of Creation, according to day.

I have for some time been fascinated by the account of the six days of Creation given in Genesis, especially the way that God on successive days distinguished and then populated different dimensions. On the first day, by separating day from night, He created a difference of time. On the second, by placing the sky between heaven and earth, He created a vertical order. On the third, by moving the land and the water apart, He created a horizontal order. Over the next three days, this succession (temporal, vertical, horizontal) was repeated, as each dimension was filled with moving things: first, the celestial bodies that mark the days and seasons and years; second, the animals that move vertically (by flying or diving); third, the animals that mover horizontally upon the earth, including Man.

I made sure to include in the picture both day and night, sky and earth, water and land. The sun, moon and stars appear in the sky. Three small birds in the background and three aquatic creatures in the foreground (two eels and one frog) represent the fifth-day animals. The sixth day is represented by Christopher himself, and the seventh (that of God’s rest) by the Christ Child resting on the saint’s shoulders.
Each piece of art is like a visual feast.

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