Dear Refraction Readers
Thanks to Brad Guise, a premier fashion photographer, Christianity Today selected the image above for their cover this month. The background painting is "Splendor-Ghost," which was part of my Charis exhibit at Dillon Gallery. My wife and Judy and I were also blessed this summer by the marriage of our son Ty and his long-time friend Priscilla, which also took place at Dillon Gallery during my show.
I realized that this, too, was a fulfillment of promise that I wrote about in a Refraction essay "A Wedding and a City."
Valerie Dillon, the owner of Dillon Gallery, also told me that her friend had requested to have a memorial service at a gallery during my exhibit. So during my exhibit, my works stood behind both a wedding and a memorial service.
I now have a sense that my art should serve as a backdrop to the joys and sorrows of family and community. Art should mediate as a servant of humanity, to act as a theatrical backdrop to our human dramas. A friend of mine noted, musing, "it would be hard to imagie a wedding taking place in any other gallery in Chelsea." Imagine getting wed in front of a Damien Hirst (as much as I admire his art), or a memorial service in front of Jeff Koons? I told Valerie Dillon, who generously donated the space to my son and my daughter-in-law, that perhaps a gallery should take as a compliment that it is fit to host such meaningful functions. We are all looking for a "third place" in culture to wed, to lament and to celebrate our humanity.
My next Refractions entry on Jasper Johns will be out later this month. The book version of Refraction essays (up to 2006 and extensively re-written) will be out next February, so stay tuned...