young deacon
4 x6, 5x7, 4x6
acrylic on canvas

Small piece I painted as gift.

On a side note, I've always been inspired by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church architecture, crosses and artwork in general, although not in a religious sense. The influence is seen in how I draw some of my characters and recurring themes I like to use like the winged figures based on these angels found in Lalibela in the only rock-hewn monolithic churches in the world, built between the 12th and 13th century.

Aside from the obvious aesthetic appeal I've always liked the counter-point the artwork provides to Western Christianity's traditional imagery of Jesus and biblical characters. The assertion that we "are created in his image" always struck me as counterintuitive given the fact that no matter where you go the indigenous visual representations (if allowed) of deities and divinity closely resemble the local cultures.

That being said, MY earliest memories of characters like Jesus, Moses, Noah and the rest was of brown-skinned, 'fro-rocking brothers that looked like they could hold it down as backup for Gladys Knight, a view I subconsciously haven't given up despite a lifetime of inundation through culturally iconic media representations like The Ten Commandments.

Just some food for thought...