Two Tributes to Mary Magdalene

with two very different portraits of the saint. (Five minutes left in her feast day!) First, Katrina Fernandez offers a sheaf of portraits, of which my favorite by far is the muscular, off-center, whirlingly ecstatic interpretation of Giambattista Pittoni. Then Joanne McPortland writes about her ongoing relationship with the saint, and offers a hushed, serene, almost doll-like portrayal by Georges de la Tour. … [Read more...]

The Apocalypse Art Prize

bring the kids!: Benefactors of the Apocalypse Art Prize are hoping artists will respond to Thomas’ encouragement to explore an artistic language with a long shelf life as well as a source of subjects with endless opportunities “for imaginative representation.”Participation in the competition is free and open to all during the year 2013. Winners will be announce June 1, 2014 and awarded prizes according to the age category of the participant.1. Participants 16 years and older compete for … [Read more...]

The Beauty of Obedience

After I spoke on that panel in New York last night, some of the organizers took us out to dinner. They mentioned that this was the last of three panels on Gay Catholic Whatnot (the first two having been on Scripture and moral theology, I think), and we discussed whether it made sense to open out the discussion to broader topics. I think the organizers were probably right to avoid bringing in new tangentially-related topics like e.g. Women in the Church, but if I got to pick the most important … [Read more...]

“Sensual Christianity”: I review an art show

in the Weekly Standard. "The Pre-Raphaelites," at the National Gallery until May 19: The Pre-Raphaelites attempted to craft a unified sensibility at once modern and medieval. Unlike devotees of the overlapping Aesthetic and Decadent movements, who, in some ways, were the Brotherhood’s heirs, the Pre-Raphaelites were aggressively English and Protestant. Shakespeare, Keats, Chaucer, and Wycliffe all get heroic treatments here. And the exhibit highlights the artists’ religious sensibilities—in fact … [Read more...]

JPII caps Nietzsche

Human beings, in a certain sense, are unknown to themselves. Jesus Christ not only reveals God, but “fully reveals man to man”. --from the Letter to Artists … [Read more...]

Advent post: Perfume and Earrings

Advent time is here, by golly! And Advent is, among other lovely things, a time for penance and almsgiving. I've been thinking about things I've done well and poorly in the past w/r/t almsgiving and charity, in particular, and I'm going to blog about some of those things this week. We'll see how long this series lasts. It is sort of advice in the sense that some of you may find that my experiences are useful to you. I would also be really interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this … [Read more...]

“Reference of Frame”

I review an art exhibit, at AmCon--and this exhibit closes at the end of December, so go soon! In the past several years photographers Claire Felicie and Lalage Snow have independently published pictures of soldiers taken before, during, and after their service in Afghanistan. It’s easy to project one’s own beliefs about the war, and war in general, onto these portraits; still, they offer fascinating portrayals of how people can change. I wasn’t expecting the frequency with which the soldier in … [Read more...]