22″ x 24″ Colored pencil on Bristol vellum paper mounted to black presentation board
“This piece was inspired by one of Christ’s last sayings to his disciples before his ascension: ‘I will be with you even until the end of the earth.’ It depicts Christ crucified coming out of a chalice marked with the word ‘Immanuel’ in Greek three times.
The center of the chalice is flanked by the hearts of Mary and Joseph, out of their hearts fire grow roses and lilies representing Mary and Joseph’s intercession at the heart of Christ. The cross is held up by two seraphim each place where they hold the cross bears the words ‘Panis Vitae’ (bread of life in Latin) on their respective sides. The altar the chalice sits on is flanked by two cherubim swinging two different thuribles symbolizing both the east and west. At the very top are three of the ancient holy names of God in Hebrew. At the left is ‘Adonai'( my lord) at the right is ‘El Shaddai’ ( God almighty) and on the cross, itself is the tetragrammaton. Next to Christ’s head are the Greek characters of alpha and omega.
The poem on the cross cloth reads: ‘Take my heart, my mind, my body, my blood, my soul, into… your soul, your blood, your body, your mind, your heart and know you are not alone.’ The bottom of the chalice subtly echoes the poem it reads: ‘You are never alone.'”
How old are you?
Have you had any formal training in the arts? Where? When? How long?
I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember. Maybe since 2 years old under the watchful eye of my Paternal Grandmother.
What inspires your art? Who/what influences you?
I’m inspired by spirituality, fantasy and mythology with a lot of Eastern and Western comic book/graphic-styled art.
How would you describe the style of your art?
Post-modern graphic neo-romanticism
Who are your favorite artists? Favorite works of art?
At the moment James Tissot and his life of Christ depictions come to mind first. He’s probably one of my biggest influences both illustration and style wise.
What direction is your art taking now and where do you see yourself going? Do you have any new projects you are working on that you are excited about? Any new areas (types/styles of art, subject matters) you’d like to explore or try?
At the moment I’m recovering from a few health issues which have affected my ability to make art or work in general since 2016. It feels like I get a chance to “revamp” my art so to speak.
The next big project I’m planning is my own fully illustrated life of Christ like Tissot but I want to also depict the Life of the Virgin as told by ancient tradition as well as the Protoevangelium of James. I want to focus on using some of the compositional elements found in Christian iconography.
What do you do for a living? Do you create art professionally?
At the moment, I’m a Lyft driver. I create art out of desire at the moment.
Besides art, what are your other interests – professional or otherwise?
I like comic books, horror movies, and nature. Recently I’ve been reading the books of Fr. Richard Rohr, OFM and I’ve really been enjoying them.
Are you Catholic yourself? Are you a convert to the faith or a “cradle Catholic”?
I come from a big Catholic family and was pursuing theology before I switched to art. I was an altar boy from age 10 to age 17 and was involved in peer ministry my senior year of high school.
Would you say that you have experienced a conversion or renewal of your faith at some point in your life? Did art play any particular role in your faith story? Would you like to tell us more about that?Yes, spiritual art. The process of making it is akin to a form of contemplative mysticism for me. It’s hard to describe, but I guess I consider myself a mystic. Our Lady is very important to me and my practice.
I’ve gone through several conversions and consider myself going through a conversion process of sorts constantly. Until I’ve converted completely into union with Christ, the work of conversion isn’t done from my perspective.
Nicholas intends on auctioning this piece of art, but the Catholic non-profit organization that will receive a donation from a portion of the winning has yet to be determined.
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