Posts in Artist Profile Series
Artist Profile Series 24: Flannery O' Connor

Flannery O’ Connor was a Southern, fiction writer and essayist born March 25th 1925 in Savannah, Georgia.  She was a devout Roman Catholic with a penchant for satire, dark humor and wild, religious imagination. Today, O’Connor is considered to be one of America’s greatest fiction writers and an apologist for the Catholic faith.

Her stories are far from what you might imagine coming from a Southern Christian writer in the 1950’s. They are full of shocking scenes of violence, depravity and shady, sometimes comic Christian characters such as a bible salesman who steals a prosthetic leg or a pseudo-prophet who steals mummified dwarfs.  Her character’s twisted views of reality warps the basic tenets of the faith they profess. Their situations often end in bloodshed.

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Artist Profile Series 23: Teresa of Avila

Teresa of Avila was a Spanish, Carmelite nun born on March 28th, 1515. She was an avid writer, social reformer and mystic known for her wit, charm and intense spiritual ecstasies. In this Artist Profile, Stephen Roach offers a glimpse into the life of this eccentric and accessible mystic whose life remains applicable for us today.

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Artist Profile Series 22: Andy Warhol

Pop Artist and cultural icon, Andy Warhol started his career as a commercial artist working as a successful illustrator for magazines and advertising agencies but eventually made the leap to become an independent, exhibiting artist in New York City. Andy’s unique style of portraying screen-printed images of his lifelong obsession with celebrities and mundane objects propelled him into the spotlight as a leading voice of the Pop-Art movement.

What isn’t widely recognized about Andy’s life was his secretive devotion to the Catholic faith. Underneath his silver wigs and flamboyant costumes was a man who regularly attended mass, served at a homeless shelter and financed his nephew’s study for the priesthood. How these two irreconcilable personas found home in this one man’s life is a question both interested religious figures and art critics alike have been asking.

In this Artist Profile, Stephen takes a brief look into the religious life of this enigmatic and complex artist’s hidden life.

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Artist Profile Series 20: Gerard Manley Hopkins

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a Jesuit priest and English poet born July 28,1844. He is considered to be one of the greatest poets of the Victorian era although during his lifetime, his poetry was never published. His approach to poetry was deeply enmeshed with his intimate and mystical spirituality. For Hopkins, who was an avid lover of nature, poetry was a means of accessing the Divine and of discovering God within nature.

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Artist Profile Series 18: Lilias Trotter

Lilias Trotter was a British artist, writer and visionary. It has been said that through Lilias’s contact with art critic and social philosopher, John Ruskin, she had the opportunity to become one of England’s greatest and most famous artists of her day. Yet, for her own convictions, Lilias turned away from this opportunity and followed a path that assured her of obscurity and promised no certain success.

Lilias lived forty years of her life among the Arabic people of North Africa and built significant friendships with Sufi mystics of the Sahara desert.

Resources:

Many Beautiful Things Documentary

Lilias Trotter Legacy

A Passion For The Impossible Biography

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Artist Profile Series 17: Meister Eckhart

Meister Eckhart was a late 13th and early 14th century philosopher, theologian and mystic born in central Germany. In 1326, he was accused of 150 accounts of heresy and went on to be tried before the Catholic Inquisition. Today, however, Meister Eckhart’s writings have influenced artists and spiritual seekers from most every tradition and walk of life.

Articles and blogs mentioned in this episode:

Every Painter Paints Himself

The Eckhart Society

John Cage on Eckhart

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Artist Profile Series 16: Notre Dame

This artist profile episode is about the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral and how writer Victor Hugo’s novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame inspired a generation to restore this historical landmark.

The human heart longs for restoration and it is the artist who embodies this longing through artistic works and creative acts. We long to preserve and sustain beauty because in beauty’s longevity is tied our own hope that there is something more enduring than the ephemeral passing of our own bodies and physical structures.  Places of beauty and historical landmarks become symbols of a deeper human impulse and reveal our longing for the eternal.

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Artist Profile Series 15: Corita Kent

Sister Corita Kent was an artist, printmaker, educator and an advocate for social justice. She broke through religious norms in the art world of her day by incorporating popular song lyrics, advertising images and slogans into her work. Her pop-art style is reminiscent of the works of graphic artist, Andy Warhol. When Corita viewed Andy’s artwork in the Los Angeles Ferus Gallery, in 1962 she soon began producing her own pop-culture inspired prints.

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Artist Profile Series 05: Man of Visions Howard Finster

Howard Finster was a folk artist and backwoods preacher from rural Georgia. He was known for his elaborate visions and the creation of his own Paradise Gardens. During the eighties, Howard's collaboration with the bands R.E.M. and Talking Heads catapulted him onto a global platform for his art and message. 

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