Archives for posts with tag: Religion

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Unless you’ve sworn off the news during the past few days, you’re familiar with Cecilia Gimenez, the 81-year-old attempting to shave off a few Purgatory points by doing some good works — in this case, restoring a 19th century fresco of Christ on the wall of her church in Borja, Spain.

For the record (and this is why I’m not showing how she ruined the icon), this blog assiduously avoids discussions of religion or politics — that’s not our territory. But I couldn’t resist commenting on this story — there are so many levels and layers to it.

First, it’s a fine example when your children ask, “What does it mean when someone says ‘the road to hell is paved with good intentions’?”

Second, it shows the value of getting regular eye checkups. I have to wonder if Cecelia Gimenez has cataracts. Before her cataract operation, my mother could not distinguish yellow from white or brown from purple. She had the front door of her house painted a Barney purple, thinking it was “umber” (true story, and I have the photos to prove it!).

Third, I’m wondering if the other parishioners stopped Cecilia Gimenez before she was finished with her work. (You know how messy works-in-progress can look!)

Finally, I feel this story expresses the importance of art education — and why we need to support funding for the arts (hey, that sounds political).

Cecilia Gimenez refuses to repent for her sins (mortal? venial?) and appears belligerent, arrogant, self-satisfied, defiant, and convinced her work is beautiful. Wait a minute. She sounds like most of the artists I know. Welcome to the club, Cecilia!

Articles about this art restoration debacle have swept the Internet — but my favorite is a piece at hyperallergic.com called “Octogenarian Restorer Strikes Again.” The brilliantly written article imagines what Cecilia Gimenez could accomplish if allowed to restore some of the world’s art treasures, including Andy Warhol‘s portrait of Elizabeth Taylor  (below), Munch’s “The Scream,” Van Gogh‘s self-portrait, Vermeer‘s “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” and Leonardo‘s “Mona Lisa.”

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In June 2012, Silver Birch Press released Jezebel’s Got the Blues…And Other Works of Imagination, a collection of performance pieces by Merrill Farnsworth. The same month, Merrill took the show to New York City, where it was among a select few featured in The Puzzle Festival of New Work. Merrill recently received a letter from one of the attendees and was kind enough to share it (see below — emphasis mine!).

TEXT OF LETTER: Encountering something familiar from another angle may give us insights attainable in no other way. Merrill Farnsworth uses this approach in her ingenious collection of monologues and dialogues inspired by the Old Testament. In her hands, these well known stories come off the page and into the hearts and imaginations of those who witness her skill. By giving voice to the rouge on Jezebel’s face, we are prompted to see the woman who is so much more than her calling-card name. By giving voice to the scissors that cut off Samson’s hair, we are invited to see the frivolous dimensions of one who relies on brute strength to navigate the world. These and other personifications open windows to meanings often missed in these great pieces of the Biblical record. For anyone who wants to probe the power of the stories of our faith, Jezebel’s Got The Blues is a find. Get it and be ready to laugh loud and hard and to weep some tears of sweet recognition.”

The Reverend Susan Blackburn Heath, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral (Columbia, South Carolina)

Find Jezebel’s Got the Blues at Amazon.com here.