All posts by Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a fine arts painter, an award-winning independent filmmaker, and has a masters of theological studies in the arts. His Masters thesis was: "Justification By Imagination.The Marian Art Of Thomas Merton." For nine years, he has been a film critic (for 366 Weird Movies). His essays for that site have been published in the yearbooks and quoted in various film biographies. He is the author of the forthcoming novel, "Brother Cobweb." He currently lives in Gresham, Oregon where he performs his character, Brother Cobweb at The House Of Shadows.

“I’M A SINFUL MAN”: SUBVERTING TRUMP’S APOCALYPSE

In the gospel reading from Luke 5, we find the famous “fishers of men” narrative. In that passage, there’s a revealing emotional moment: Simon (later renamed Peter) drops to his knees after the second (and successful) fishing expedition and says to Christ, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” This is one of many examples that reminds me why I am so endeared to Peter.

Apart from Judas (obviously), Peter is possibly the most flawed of the apostles. Often, he is a total screw up, but he is also the apostle with the biggest heart, which is why, I think, Christ picked Peter to lead the apostles. Most of us likely would have chosen John, who, on the surface, seems far less flawed. However, Christ saw the heart of Peter much in the same way that God saw the heart of David and preferred him to his siblings.

“Peter was afraid, and when he began to sink, he cried out” © Alfred Eaker 2018
Collection: “Gospel Art: Mystics, Apostles, and Saints” (2016-2020). Acrylic on canvas. 16”x20”
“Peter was afraid, and when he began to sink, he cried out” © Alfred Eaker 2018. Collection: “Gospel Art: Mystics, Apostles, and Saints” (2016-2020). Acrylic on canvas. 16”x20”

 

It’s Peter’s rich and complex emotions that appeal to me, such as in the walking on water scene that I artistically tackled in the painting featured in this post. In the story, the apostles are out on the boat when they see Christ, walking on water, approaching. Peter gets out of the boat, begins walking on water also, and approaches Christ. However, Peter takes his eyes off Christ, looks down at the water, and begins to sink. 

I depict Peter under the threat of horrific drowning, locked in terror and fear, yet peering through all that, seeking to be saved. He was afraid, and when he began to sink, he cried out. Haven’t we all found ourselves in a similar situation at some point? Can we not find ourselves in his gaze?…  The model of Peter is ultimately an edifying one: if this frequently sinful and stupid man can seek and be granted redemption, then we all can.

 

[Detail] “Peter was afraid, and when he began to sink, he cried out” © Alfred Eaker 2018. This painting, “Peter was afraid, and when he began to sink, he cried out,” is one of several I did in 2018 with the gospel theme of Peter. They are a part of a larger group of paintings entitled: “Gospel Art: Mystics, Apostles, and Saints,” which I began in 2016 and have continued with up until 2020. The paintings are acrylic and uniform in size: 16 x20. This was a shift for me, as I previously had painted considerably larger pieces. However, I felt gospel art should be intimate and personal, much in the same way that gospel music is.
[Detail] “Peter was afraid, and when he began to sink, he cried out” © Alfred Eaker 2018
Part of the Collection: “Gospel Art: Mystics, Apostles, and Saints” (2016-2020). Acrylic on canvas. 16”x20”

 

As a child, I recall hearing a sermon on this in the white evangelical church I was raised in. The preacher was very critical of Peter,  reminding us that Peter lost faith (bad Peter), but even then I noted that Peter was the only one of the twelve who had guts enough to even get out of the boat. As I relayed (albeit fictionally) in my novel, Brother Cobweb, I was forced to read the gospels. That wasn’t very smart of my Sunday school teachers because I actually did read them, found them to be rich and satisfying narratives, but I also found that the church folk were, by and large, raging hypocrites because they didn’t model any of these, nor did they follow Christ (as he instructed).

Many of us who were raised in the religious right evangelical church have anticipated the coming of Trump’s America since childhood because we were all too aware of their lust for a self-fulfilled apocalypse. I understood, even as a child, how they distorted the biblical message. What we saw then, we see today on an epic scale. If you want to understand the evangelical empowering of Trump and today’s horror, if you want to go to the roots and subvert their Evangelical Apocalypse, then sit in the pews of a white Pentecostal church 50 years ago. Start the journey with Brother Cobweb…

“Brother Cobweb,” a novel by Alfred Eaker. If you want to understand the evangelical empowering of Trump and today’s horror, if you want to go to the roots and subvert their Evangelical Apocalypse, then sit in the pews of a white Pentecostal church 50 years ago. Start the journey with Brother Cobweb…

 

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

WAY DOWN

July 6,  1977 Elvis Presley’s single “Way Down” is released.

*Cover Photo from “Elvis: An American Seeker” (Mural in progress) ©2020 Alfred Eaker

Related: Discover “Brother Cobweb”, a novel by Alfred Eaker

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

In The Ghetto

July 5, 1969 – Elvis Presley’s “In The Ghetto” hits #2 in the U.K.

It’s interesting in that originally I found this song thick in laying on the sentimentality and a bit schmaltzy. It doesn’t seem so at all today, Indeed, with everything surrounding us, it seems more relevant than ever.

Then, as I read this in a FB group today, I discovered a bit of background about it. Presley and his producer were set to record it when Presley’s manager, Tom Parker, voiced an objection, citing that it was “too political and too controversial.” Presley overshot his manager’s objections with a memo, “did you grow up poor? We’re recording this song.”

Since his death, there’s been a tendency to label Presley a racist, he stole black music, etc. These comments are always made by people who never met him and yet it’s easy to see why that is assumed; after all he was southern, politically conservative, and a redneck (he was). It only goes to stand… only it doesn’t.

Presley was raised in a black Pentecostal church. It was the music he knew. He grew up dirt poor in a racially mixed neighborhood.  No one who knew him, either well or casually, makes claims of his being a racist; quite the reverse, indeed they vehemently deny it,  and peers such as Chuck Berry, James Brown, and B.B. King frequently tried to set the record straight and quash the myth of his being bigoted.

It matters, even today, so many years after Presley’s decline and self-willed death because, even if unintentionally,  he serves as a model of sorts;  one can be southern, politically conservative, and even a good old boy, without mantling systematic racism or traditions of white supremacy.  The late Little Richard called Presley an integrator. “In the Ghetto” is perhaps the Presley song that best manifests Richard’s claim and advocates the long past due need for cultural and spiritual integration.

Look inside Alfred Eaker’s debut Novel:

About Alfred Eaker:

Alfred Eaker

Alfred Eaker is a prolific fine arts painter and muralist, an award-winning filmmaker and film critic, and a traditionally-published author. Following on the success of his debut novel, “Brother Cobweb,” Eaker is currently collaborating with Todd M. Coe on the related Graphic novel: “The Brother Cobweb Chronicles.It will be available in the spring 2021. The audiobook version of Brother Cobweb is also being produced, and will soon be released too.

As an inquisitive American artist, he has always been deeply engaged in social, religious, and political climates. Eaker is currently working on a mural painting entitled “Elvis: An American Hymn.” Through it, Eaker is trying to bring affirming answers to issues of race, integration and hope so desperately needed at this moment in America.

Follow Alfred Eaker Online:

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 12. Christ, Our Mother heals the faithful Centurion’s pais.

Christ, Our Mother heals the faithful Centurion’s pais. ©2017 Alfred Eaker.

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 13. Christ, Our Mother casting the demons into the swine

Christ, Our Mother casting the demons into the swine © 2017 Alfred Eaker.

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 11. Christ, Our Mother healing the Leper

Christ, Our Mother healing the Leper ©2017 Alfred Eaker.

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 10. The Sermon On the Mount as told by Christ, Our Mother

The Sermon On the Mount as told by Christ, Our Mother ©2017 Alfred Eaker.

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 9. Christ, Our Mother and the Samaritan woman, according to St. John

Christ, Our Mother and the Samaritan woman, according to St. John © 2017 Alfred Eaker .

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

St. John is modeled after Ohio artist Antonio Adams

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 8. Christ, Our Mother and the adulteress

Christ, Our Mother and the adulteress ©2107 Alfred Eaker.

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

 

THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, OUR MOTHER AND HER MURDERERS: DONALD TRUMP AND THE ALT-RIGHT. 7. Lazarus & The Rich Man (A parable, as told by Christ, Our Mother)

Lazarus & The Rich Man (A parable, as told by Christ, Our Mother) ©2017 Alfred Eaker.

“Alfred Eaker’s series of works are deeply felt journeys into sociopolitical satire. Each painting seems to be pulled from Marc Chagall’s dream furnace.” Bill Ross: Curator Thunder-Sky Art Gallery.

*Christ is modeled after Ohio poet Cheryl Townsend

St. John is modeled after Ohio artist Antonio Adams