Icons: Objective Art, Today, Yesterday, Tomorrow


‘equals begining and end of comment of Fr. Marek’

When you think about it the word Icon, its use:  we think of a computer, a desktop that is a fancy t.v. screen.  The computer desktop is an abstract representation in words of something it actually is not really what it is, we could call a computer a thinking machine, marketers’ would have a difficult time selling a thinking machine, that is a different  conflict.  People are thinking machines when they don’t think and become human when they think deeply, it exhausts us maybe that’s why thinking is tricky and elusive to teach.  We would prefer to be a machine that thinks that way; we do not have to think.  However, symbols sometimes demand us to ponder, think and contemplate.  The origins of the icon is in the thinking.  Thinking as a rememberance of what the early Christians’ suffered in the arena of life and the Carnival Arena of Death or the Coliseum.  These early Christians were remembered as a painting literally on the caves of the catacombs about 3 A.D. then the Icon was born of the deaths of the early rememberances of the Life of these early Christians martyred for thier faith as Jesus Christ was martyred for various reasons.  The early Christians wished to take home the paintings and the Icon was manifested into the world.


Icons are based upon basic shapes and when the symbolism is realized, learned and ruminated it stands the test of mankind’s time.   When you think about it, the early icons also represent a program of ideas as do todays’ icons but to a very different degree and different set of various symbols.  Religious Icons represent a spirit of man and the Spirit of God.  Spirits are representations of a higher order of energy, and the energy is love, typically the “Love” of a higher order uplifts the spirit of man to its home, the higher order of energy, we find inherent in the life filled with love,  some of us do find this even if only for moments.  Recently, a psychologist was describing goodness/love and said even the criminal knows goodness/love and sees it, as this Doctor of Psychology cited a study of how we see ideas of good.  Mankinds abilty to know goodness/love is in us all. The Higher order the Love of God in mankind through the manifestation and teachings of Jesus Christ and his presence on and upon earth is part of the early and growing movement of symbols of Iconography.


So yesterday, a friend reminded me of a talk at a local church about Icons.  Fr. Marek was the speaker and he is also a painter.  A painter of a higher order he paints Icons today.  He teachs how to paint Icons, what Icons mean on many levels and the various symbols of language in the heritage of Iconography.  Fr. Marek is an excellent speaker and has a lively sense of humor and a certain kind practice of love easliy to understand by all.  Thank You to Fr. Marek and his ability to share the deep rich qualities in the languages of symbols that icons use.

I heard part of the demonstration.  The above basic shapes are the foundation of Icons.  However, the broad strokes of informaition cross over and create a transference of knowledge which objective art does as it points in all directions of the:  past, present  and the future.  Icons never stop teaching us about ourselves within and without the body/mind apperatus and transends into the deep spirit/soul of our life and the life we face in daliy living.  Art does do this when coupled with concept of longevity, or an eternal idea.  The facts of Icons have a fecundity which Religous Art has and it includes the pregnant fertility of objective art, as Icons speak to us no matter what our faith may be in or what we choose to believe.  For example, Fr. Marek speaks of the sacred basic shapes which underlay inside the compositons of Iconograpy, the details of basic color symbols, how they relate to Seeing:  On a spiritual level, symbolic language, how various parts of the body form directions and leads to what the painting is saying.  These are basic explantions they lend the viewer to a richer experience of an Icon.  So as Art speaks to us, Iconograpy and Icons do speak and the better you get to know the symbols and language the better you hear the language speak to you and us.  Then you can share in its heritage and higher spiritual language it offers.

Icons speak of the Grace of life.  The Grace of the Angels, Saints, and the higher orders of Graces bestowed upon us through God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  We must not parce words, pick bones and obdurate over using words to express Spiritual values based upon religion just because we do not like religion.  We listen and view commercials on the television and endure those obscure messages to see our show.  We tolerate many things we do not like but do not seem to tolerate relgious values outside our own show.  We don’t believe our choices are exclusive but they are us.  Just as the ‘Icon painter never signs his work’ but the message here is to recall that ‘we are all icons on the path to become a living (icon)’ Icon intestimant, in our actions, and in our belief in the Graces of Love.  Now, we all wish to be Loved and know goodness.


‘Icon is:  The Theology of Color’

Red, Blue, Yellow, Gold and many other colors.

Basic Shapes:  Triangle, Square, Circle::Power eye or some call it the third eye in ‘Orthodox ideals this is the eye of Wisdom’: the square a solid foundation and other symbolic ideals: the circle leads us to the halo and nimbus. There are fertile and potent basic shapes hidden in form with and inherent in the compostions of the Icon.

‘Red is “divinity, Blue a symbol of the Virgin Mary, humanity, divine took human upon himself, Gold is the symbol of something that gold is a something that is precious’, rare, of high valence/valor, of another world a energy supreme if you observe gold on an Icon it is ever changing but remains always the precious gold that it is in short it makes sense that the color gold speaks of the beauty and Divine Grace of God that is God.  “I am Who Am” a unique color a ‘unique light’ God as symbolized in gold. 

I am forever indebted to the kindness of Fr. Marek, he represents the goodness of an icon in his gracious teachings to us who were there to listen.  It is easy to do good things but to also be that good thing is a challenge in todays forms of lifestyle.  I can only think of the quote of Dr. M. L. King, “I long for the day when man will be judge on the content of his character not the color of his skin.” or the  color: of his religion, his beliefs, his tastes of life, his choices in thinking, his love of grace, or his tolerance that is invested in us to live up to, that we are to be:  real people to love and give our goodness to each other, as We are all God’s children.  Fr. Marek and Dr. King would agree.

This was a celebration in honor of St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Parish, Lorain, Ohio and its 100th or Golden Anniversary.  Many Thanks to the kind parishoners of St. Nicholas, Fr. Nicholas and to Fr. Marek for teaching us there of the longevity of Iconography and its rich histories.

I close with a friendly handshake and Hello Goodbye and Aloha and remember the goodness within you and that goodness which surrounds all of us is goodness and grace from God.  Hope you come back to look/see again, greg.

Further reading:  “Metamorphosis:  The Transfiguration in Byzantine Theologhy And Iconography”, Andreas Andreopoulos.

“Behold The Beauty Of The Lord,  Praying With Icons”, Henri J.M. Nouwen.




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