Friday, January 14, 2011

Compassion: His Crown





"His Crown" medium: newspaper, poly urethane, and stenciled spray paint. Compassion: to suffer with. I did this piece after some reflection on what it means to be a modern Christian in America. the main-stream church at large does not follow the example i see in Christs suffering, and sharing burdens of others. I do see "charity" but that can be worlds a part from actually walking with someone in their trial; living, breathing their pain and loss. we live in a country where comfort and security are the strivings and goals of everyone, even the church,. It seems to come way above simplicity and self sacrifice, which was the walk of Christ. we always like to make our gods and masters look like ourselves, and some ways, even though we claim to worship Jesus, we're just worshiping a projected view of ourselves, cause we've made him look just like us. white, blond hair, blue eyes, patriotic, comfy and clean. though you may hear a sermon or see a image of Jesus on the cross that might give the impression otherwise, the loudest message comes from the expectations and judgments that stand at the pulpits and sit in the pews. i say this cause that is what is expected of anyone walking into most churches. When i read the gospels, it doesn't quite look like that. They called him "the sufferer", so if we are to follow Jesus, that means choosing to step outside of our comforts and securities into sacrifice and standing in solidarity with others; sitting with the tax collector, pardoning the harlot, embracing the diseased, welcoming the foreigner, and loving all enemies. Jesus was a radical, so much so, He and his following were a very threat to the religious elite and the ruling empire. It landed him on a cross; an execution of criminal done with the states legal sanction. Is this what we embrace as a "Christian" nation? ( is that even a good idea? "christian nation") do we really sacrifice all of ourselves for the radical love of all people as Jesus did? or do we just want our "freedoms" to collect and consume whatever our hearts desire. we want our "right" to harm others in defense of what is ours, our possessions, our family, ect. (it seems the two are the same for most patriarchs). I guess this is what we wrestle with if we consider ourselves people of Christian faith. I hope this doesn't come off too preachy or self righteous; these are questions i ask to myself everyday, and plenty times fail. I choose safety in the name of wisdom over love of a stranger in the spirit of my Lord. I spend money on myself because i feel entitled to it rather than giving it to someone who is in need. so lets ask these questions together, believers or not, as fellow people. are we working towards a better tomorrow? i hope i am, which is why I follow the footsteps of Christ and try to put on this kings thorny crown called "compassion". As I'm sometimes overburdened with the thoughts of what that entails, I am always reminded of what Momma T said. "do small things with great love." Love and Peace! -Dylan

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Communion: Three in One

I did this triptych for Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community a little while ago (I'll be updating some past fine art projects I've done in the last year or so, since i just gathered some photos of them) they asked me to put together a symbol of the trinity on tables, that would hang on the wall, and used on occasion. I along with two other artists in the community did table series. the other themes were the process of making bread and of making wine. there was something i found so beautiful about having art apart of a more utilitarian purpose. the tables hang on the wall for aesthetic purposes, but then the "walls" are taken down, to be used for community gathering; it's such a beautiful picture to me of what "communion" is. take down the walls and just sit and share together.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It's a new year, and as cliche as it is, some change as well.

video 
thought I'd start with this video. The brothers and I put this rendition together for our relatives in England as a fun way to send our Christmas greetings. So, as we leave this holiday season and enter into the new year, let us embrace it with excitement and joy. we've got to make the best of what has been given to each of us. speaking of blessing, I have started a new blog exclusively for a new project starting up this year (I'm still going to keep this blog going as well) the new blog is located at http://TheCommonHaven.blogspot.com (or just click the link under "Communion"). The Common Haven, at least that's what it's called for the moment, is something I have had on my heart for some time now, and with much shared vision with a lot of supportive friends and family, I'll be diving into this endeavor this year with a still forming group of people. My heart is to start a Catholic Worker house of hospitality and hostel in the city of Pittsburgh (for more info on the Catholic Worker Movement see www.catholicworker.org ). It's going to be a whole lot of hard work, trial and tribulation, but I trust the Lord will provide and direct all us who will participate in this collective effort.  If your interested in following more intently on that project feel free to click the link and do so. thanks to all who have, are, and will continue to share, encourage, wrestle, challenge, and hold accountable this radical step into the future. May the Lord keep us humble and give us strength to endure what comes. Joy and peace to you all.