I had a preview exhibit at St. Lorenzo Catholic Church, Walnut CA during the Pentecost festivities last May 30, 2009. It’s a prelude to my plan to have an art exhibition by fall 2010. For the past month, I’d been working on the “Apostles Series” to humanize the saints or apostles and relate it to the everyday man. In my view, the apostles are just normal people like us but had overcome great obstacles in their time. It’s the focus of their belief or faith that made them notable.
In choosing the models for the saints, I was looking for particular people who would seem to look familiar and yet would impress us with distinct characteristics of the saints for what they’re known for before they become saints. My goal for this series is to go beyond the religious aspect of the apostles & see the humanity & commonality that exist with everyday unsung heroes.
It was quite interesting how this project came to me. I never really thought I would be doing any religious series theme considering the past paintings I’d done were mostly nudes or figurative paintings. Sure, a few times I’d commissioned artworks to do portraits of Jesus Christ, churches & even the “Last Supper” but not a whole body of work that would concentrate on the Pentecost theme which will be celebrated on May 29-31.
It’s been a while since I did some major paintings & my aunt who happens to be an active parishioner in St. Lorenzo Ruiz Church asked me to display a series of religious painting during the festivities & I thought, “why not?” Anyways, I already did some graphics work for the parish during the Lenten Season which fortunately, they liked.
One of the things I’d been thinking about is integrating the current situation or crisis in our midst & the message of hope with the Pentecost. Pentecost is the “Feast of the Holy Spirit” & it’s also considered the day the Catholic Church has been established. To do a project like this and translate it into a series of artworks that speaks about Faith in spite of any crisis is an exciting & a challenging one. After a lot of research & brainstorming by myself, I came up with the title – “Faith, Hope & Spirit in Extraordinary Times.” I probably won’t be finished with the whole series until the end of May & just show initial works during the Pentecost Celebration. But I’m hoping to have a formal exhibition by the fall of 2010.