February 20, 2014

Prophet With Honor

Almighty God, whose truth makes us free: We bless your Name for the witness of Frederick Douglass, whose impassioned and reasonable speech moved the hearts of a president and a people to a deeper obedience to Christ. Strengthen us also to be outspoken on behalf of those in captivity and tribulation, continuing in the Word of Jesus Christ our Liberator; who with you and the Holy Spirit dwells in glory everlasting. Amen.

icon by
Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

4 comments:

JCF said...

That's a wonderful icon, Tobias: one of your best!

Holy Frederick, pray for us...

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks, JCF. I'm betting more at ease with this medium... which is good as I'll be teaching a class in two weeks!

John-Julian Swanson, OJN said...

That's not an "icon" in the classical sense——it is a fantastically beautiful and sensitive portrait—and I praise you for a wonderfully unique style that you have developed in these images. How can they get wider exposure? A book? Maybe with biographies?
Just keep on keeping on—they're wonderful!

Tobias Haller said...

Thanks, Fr. J-J. My thinking on iconography has evolved away from the classical mode, which, from my perspective, somewhat lost touch as it developed into its own forms of abstraction and stylization. The original theological underpinning was to provide precisely that image of humanity, but in many cases the stylization, while beautiful in its own right, seems to have neglected that origin.

So my approach is a bit of a return ad fontes, to the style of the Fayoum portraits (which, I believe, are the progenitors of the icon movement) in an effort to do honor to the actual persons, rather than to stylized and conventionalized representations.

I still admire the traditional icons, and even take up brush and tempera from time to time, but I am more concerned with fidelity to the human presence, than to the canonical code of the traditional icon schools. Call me a rebel, but it's my nature!