THE CATHOLIC ART OF SALVADOR DALI

Madonna of Port Lligat (1950)

Although, I’m not a fan of the earlier work of Salvador Dali (having seen too many stickers of his art on the folders of angst-ridden teenage boys in the 70s- they all seemed to be fanatical lovers of the Doors and Lynard Skynard-I’m not sure the connection), I respond most to his work in film (‘Spellbound’ and ‘Porky Pig in Dodo land’) and his later Catholic work.

Virgin of Guadalupe 1959

At one time, a self-proclaimed atheist, Dali reconciled with his Catholic faith and became devout, espousing devotion to saints, daily prayer, sacrament of marriage, lifelong fidelity, Mariology, etc and saw these as being authentically revolutionary, especially in his later years when all of the above was anathema to the I, ME, MINE mindset (the horrors of WWII was also a factor in his conversion).

The Ecumenical Council 1960

Dali’s reconciliation with his faith caused a heated row with Andre Breton (who considered himself the spokesperson head of the surrealists and authored the Surrealist Manifesto). Breton insisted that a true surrealist HAD to be a practicing atheist and there was NO room for religion in the movement. Dali rightly saw Breton’s prerequisite as hypocritically transforming surrealism into a dogmatic religion. Famously, Dali left and eventually the movement collapsed while Dali persisted.

Christ of Saint John of the Cross 1951

For years, art historians and theologians criticized Dali’s later Catholic-themed work as kitsch. They were off. Dali had the pulse of that blue-collar Catholic surrealism. Now, his later work has been reassessed (imagine that). There’s a wonderful portrayal of him that captures his spirit in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris.

Assumption 1952

Crocifissione (1954)

Madonna 1943

Day of the Virgin 1947

God sends Gabriel to the Virgin Mary, 1964

Madonna of Port Lligat 1972

Microphysical Madonna 1954

The Ascension of Christ, 1958

The Sacrament of the Last Supper 1955

The Temptation of Saint Anthony’ (1946)

Corpuscular Madonna 1952

Cosmic Madonna 1958

I knew him in the breaking of bread, 1964

Madonna 1952

Madonna 1960

St. Helena of Port Lligat 1956

St. Jerome 1960

The Madonna and the Mystical Rose Salvador 1963

The Sacred Heart of Jesus 1962

Pieta 1982

Pieta 1982

THE WILD AND ZANY WORLD OF TODD M. COE

Todd M. Coe is one of those secret finds that is all too tempting to keep secret.

Todd’s animated shorts evoke the decade of the 1970’s, which  he is hopelessly in love with.  Drive-in commercials, exploitation, cheesy horror, 70’s adult  posters, variety show television specials, low budget spaghetti westerns, robots, the rock group Kiss, Aaron Spelling cop shows, feathered hair, plaid bell bottoms, and, of course animation are all manna from pop culture heaven for him.

From Todd on Carl the Mountain: “This is my friend, Carl… and he’s a mountain. He’s really cool too! But he’s got a slight problem that annoys him.
Anyways, since the eBook market is growing and I’m an illustrator/animator, why not embrace this new technology and have fun with it?”

TODD M COE %22888%22 FOR %22STATIONS%22

Todd could undoubtedly add a few thousand items from that decade to the list, such as one of his favorites (and the delightfully of it’s period) Paul Lynde Halloween Special ,with Donnie and Marie Osmond, Mrs. Brady, Witchie Poo and Billy Barty all trading groan worthy barbs with the inimitable and much missed Mr. Lynde. Todd discussed this perennial favorite in a series of emails and his enthusiasm was admittedly infectious.

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Alfred Eaker Paintings

Alfred EAKER 'Our Lady Of The Mermaids%22 oil on canvas © 2011 Alfred Eaker “Our Lady Of The Mermaids”©2011 is a 3 ft x 4 ft oil on canvas. Over the years, I have painted numerous Madonnas, born full grown from a painter’s brow, yet I feel it is this one alone, from 2011, in which my very personal tradition and theological tenets crystallized most lucidly. I have attempted, since then, to paint her again as I did here. Predictably, it has proven futile. Although, Our Lady wears a thousand different skin tones, a thousand names, and a thousand costumes, she stands uniquely untamed in this canvas. This is no Madonna, subjected to patriarchal erasure, no demure, chaste cabbage. Our Lady is imbued with wild sensuality, diaphanous compassion, and revolutionary divinity. She is our lush, boundlessly expansive sanctuary of fearless truth-telling; the fiery daughter of primal white goddesses and Sophianic Mother of the brown mermaids.

* Our Lady was chosen for the 2014 cover of Aurora Literary Magazine.

 

Alfred Eaker %22Annhilation%22 (Sufism. Meditation on Christ casting the money changers out of the temple) oil on canvas. ©2014 Alfred Eaker “Annihilation” is a 2014,  40 x 48 oil on canvas. It stems from Sufi meditation. “Christ casting the money changers out of the temple” is that figure’s moth to the flame moment. It is the only time we see the gospel figure losing his temper and it is this act, which gets him killed and inevitably transforms him. It is lack of love that Christ is responding to. Rather than the traditional depicted action narrative, usually attached to the subject, “Annihilation” is filtered through Le Pointe Vierge; the innermost secret heart.

ALFRED EAKER Prelude To A Day Of Wonder. Oil on canvas. © 2010 Alfred Eaker.

“Prelude To A Day Of Wonder” is a 2010, 36 x 48 oil on canvas. That it is a prelude is key. Pure,  emotional reaching… upward. A day of wonder is a day of attainment.ALFRED EAKER %22Annunication%22 oil on canvas © 2011 Alfred Eaker

“Annunciation” is a 2011, 3 ft x 5 ft oil on canvas, painted while I was in grad school seminary. It is the prologue to the Magnificat. The Marian figure is young, ethnic, sensually caught up in her mystical hour, manifested through the celestial visitor.   Alfred Eaker PIETA (2011) oil on canvas © 2011 Alfred Eaker

“Pieta” is one of numerous oil on canvases (3 ft x 5 ft) I have painted on the traditional subject. This interpretation is from 2011, and directly followed the above “Annunciation.” The same figure is aged approximately thirty years. Again, she is endowed in her Hour. Her Son, reduced to Corpus Christie, is being lifted to Her by John the beloved and Joseph of Arimathea.The author of the Beatitudes is clearly the son of the Magnificat’s author. In the gospel narrative, Christ cried out to His Father: “Why have you forsaken me?”  Father turned His face from Son. Yet, Mother faced Her son directly. As painful as it was, She did not look away. She did not forsake Him and wears a shirt of arrows for Him. Alfred Eaker %22Stations IV%22 Christ Meets His Mother On The Way To The Cross. oil on canvas 5 ft x 5 ft. ©2011 Alfred Eaker “Stations IV. Christ meets His Mother On The Way To The Cross” is a 2011 oil on canvas and on of six Station paintings. All are 5 ft x 5 ft. Again, I dispense of a narrative per se and channel the event through a purely emotional, almost musically mystical filter. This is a homage to the teachings of Fr. Justin Belitz. Alfred Eaker Barenboim conducts the Bruckner 7th . oil on canvas ©2014 Alfred Eaker “Barenboim conducts the Bruckner 7th” is a 2014, 3 ft x 4 ft oil on canvas. It is a reinterpretation from a sketch I made during a Chicago concert of that symphony, conducted by Daniel Barenboim in the 1990s. The 7th is the most personally mystical of Bruckner’s symphonic output. Barenboim is a pronounced romanticist and a visceral Brucknerian, shaping the composer’s intimate sanctuary. Alfred Eaker %22Pieta%22 oil on canvas © 2014 Alfred Eaker “Pieta” is a 58 x 48 oil on canvas from 2014. Revisiting the subject, I concentrated on the relationship between the Madonna and Her slain Son in a celestial, communal setting. Alfred Eaker Yellow Resurrection. oil on canvas. © 2008 Alfred Eaker

“Yellow Resurrection” is a 30 x 48 oil on canvas from 2008 and an entirely different variation of previous Pieta-like themes. My BlueMahler character serves as a narrator, composing an exotic interpretation of the Easter theme. Alfred Eaker %22Christ and the Woman at the well.%22 oil on canvas. © 2014 Alfred Eaker   “Christ and the Woman at the Well” is a 2014, 3 ft x 4 ft oil on canvas. It is painted in monochromatic hues. No water well is depicted. I forgo a narrative in favor of an emotional interaction. Although Christ is recognized as prophet, He learns from her. She teaches him her humanity and it is a vulnerable sharing. Alfred Eaker Escape to a Mysterious Freedom. oil on canvas. © 2007 alfred eaker

“Escape To A Mysterious Freedom” is one of several paintings inspired by my time in New Mexico. It is a 2007 oil on canvas and depicts a lone, female rider. It is a surreal variation of Gauguin’s Riders On The Beach. The woman is on a tension-filled promenade and the freedom which awaits her is an unknown one. I had read St. John of the Cross’ “Dark Night Of The Soul’ shortly before painting this and that certainly factored in. Alfred Eaker Prayer for a perilous descent. oil on canvas © 2007 alfred eaker

“Prayer For A Perilous Descent” is a 45 x 60, 2007 oil on canvas and companion piece to the previous painting. A family is depicted: A mother and father, shielding their children, through a perilous descent while Holy Mother prays for their safety. Alfred EAKER Blue Fugue oil on canvas © 2007 alfred eaker

“Blue Fugue” is another 2007 companion to “Escape To A Mysterious Freedom”  and is 3 ft x 4 ft. St. John Of the Cross and Gauguin inform the painting’s theme and milieu. A lone, male figure rides into a terrain of infinite shadows. DIGITAL CAMERA

“Passion of Perpetua and Felicity” is a  30 x 40, 2008 oil on canvas, taken from a gnostic text of martyrdom. It is a literal, narrative interpretation, but one saturated with paradoxical emotions, including divine eroticism. Alfred Eaker Married in the Faucet. oil on canvas. © 2007 alfred eaker

“Married In the Faucet” is a 3 ft x 4 ft 2007 canvas, named after a line from a poem by John M. Bennett (who acted in two of my films. He was Satan in “Jesus and her Gospel of Yes” and George H. Bush in “W.”) The BlueMahler character is depicted in an unconsummated marriage. DIGITAL CAMERA “Finger Paint Viscosity” is a 3 ft x 4 ft, 2007 oil on canvas, named after  Cheryl Townsend poem (Cheryl played Jesus in my “Jesus and her Gospel of Yes” film). BlueMahler conducts the non-narrative narrative (as he did in the film). Cheryl herself is depicted. Her form echoes the eroticism inherent in her words. There is an Alexander Scriabin-like insect quality to her sexed-up figure. * All paintings are for sale. For pricing, serious inquiries may contact us at: pinkfreudbluemahler@msn.com

2. Alfred Eaker Hay que caminar„ soñando ©Alfred Eaker 2013

“Hay que caminar, soñando “is a 40 x 60, 2013 oil on canvas, named after a musical composition by Luigi Nono, translated (roughly) as “Wanderer, there is no destination, but you must travel the road.”

1. Alfred Eaker Risonanze erranti (Resonances wandering) ©Alfred Eaker 2013

 

“Risonanze errant” (Resonances wandering) is a  x 33 x 52, oil on canvas from 2013, named after a musical composition by Luigi Nono.

5. Alfred Eaker Omaggio a Luigi Nono. ©Alfred Eaker 2013

“Omaggio a Luigi Nono” is a 3 ft x 3 ft oil on canvas, and homage to Luigi Nono.

4. Alfred Eaker Io, Frammento da Prometeo ©Alfred Eaker 2013

“Io, Frammento da Prometeo” is a 48 x 48, 2013 oil on canvas, named after a musical composition by Luigi Nono.

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“Shifting Sanctuaries” is a 2009, 30 x 48 oil on canvas of the BlueMahler character.

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“Fragments From a Crepuscular World” is a 30 x 48 oil on canvas from 2009.

ALFRED EAKER Self Portrait of the artist as a middle aged man c.2009 alfred eaker

“Self Portrait of the artist as a middle aged man” is a 3ft x 4 ft oil on canvas, from 2009.

 

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“Without World” is a 4ft x 4 ft oil on canvas from 2009.

** A portion of all sales will go to the Franciscan Hermitage.

Stills from “STATIONS” ( our film in-progress)

STATIONS (Opening)Stations. Tristan Ross, Randy Cox and Alfred Eaker Lighthouse sceneStations.Randy Cox as James the LesserAlfred Eaker as Bluemahler as Thomas in Stations

STATIONS T. ROSS STATIONS GLOBBOLALIASTATIONS (DON'T ASK)STATIONS (FROGS APLENTY)Coe Stations 2014 aCoe Stations 2014 bCoe Stations 2014 cCoe Stations 2014 dCOE STATIONS VA STATIONS 3A STATIONS 8A STATIONS 9A STATIONS 10A STATIONS 11A STATIONS 12A STATIONS 14A STATIONS 15stations 17STATION (COE)

All images copyright of Eaker Productions, llc.

© Eaker Productions 2014.

Written by Alfred Eaker and Wendy Collin Sorin. Additional poetry by John M. Bennett.

Directed by Alfred Eaker and J. Ross Eaker

Art director: Todd M. Coe

Additional art direction: J. Ross Eaker, Alfred Eaker and Wendy Collin Sorin.

Starring

Randy Cox as James the Lesser

Tristan Ross as James the Greater

Amy Petinella as Eve

Alfred Eaker as BlueMahler

James Mannan as Herod

Robin Panet as the witch

* This a work-in-progress, and expect its completion to be within approximately two years.

 

“THUNDERSKY” DOCUMENTARY NOW FOR SALE ON DVD AND STREAMING

OUR DOCUMENTARY FILM THUNDER-SKY is finally out.

DVDs are for sale here…

https://www.createspace.com/400375

and can be streamed on a computer, phone, tablet, or smart TV at…

https://gum.co/czFmn

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THUNDERSKY BELOW, INCLUDING TRAILER:

Alfred Eaker and J Ross Eaker of Eaker Productions have produced and directed a documentary about Raymond Thunder-Sky. The film, now making the rounds with film festival review boards, documents Raymond’s life and influence through interviews with Cincinnati artists, co-workers, construction workers, and fans who knew him. The cumulative effect of the film is a portrait not just of Raymond as a man or artist, but as a cultural and spiritual figure who through the persistence of his art-making and brave exploration of his own aesthetic universe, and through the persistence of those his life touched, became a touchstone for what it means to be creative and alive.

http://www.theindependentcritic.com/thunder_sky

 

A Western Art Triptych

This triptych of western themed paintings followed time spent out west. More than that, they stem from my childhood love of the western, which is one of America’s greatest genres (along with jazz and baseball).

Saturday Night Roundup was one of my early childhood rituals. I possibly benefitted more from my father’s Christmas toy of an 8mm projector, even more than Dad did. Johnny Mack Brown westerns were my favorite, no small part due to the presence of Beth Marion.  With Tim McCoy and Ken Maynard also gracing our collection and a certified addiction to Paladin reruns, Gary Cooper and Randolph Scott, the western was an inimitable and inexplicable source of magic in my life. It was for that reason, I joined the minority of my peers in preferring Elvis to the Beatles. Elvis made westerns (Flaming Star-1960, being his best). The Beatles didn’t. Undoubtedly, the Beatles were superior artists, but Elvis had a golden voice, could belt out a gospel better than almost anyone (Mahalia Jackson excepted) and cut a too cool figure in jeans atop a horse.

The western paintings convey a type of sojourn, which I was not completely conscious of until after I had painted them.Perhaps the Adam and Eve myth is simply a metaphor for early childhood as a type of Eden we latently seek to regain. Everyone’s idea of Eden, of course, is different, and my sanctuary partly consisted of  that western mythology flickering across our otherwise drab white walls.

A. EAKER Blue Fugue c.2007 alfred eaker

Blue Fugue ©2007  Alfred Eaker

A. EAKER Prayer for a perilous descent c.2007 alfred eaker

Prayer For A Perilous Decent © 2007 Alfred Eaker

A. EAKER Escape to a Mysterious Freedom c.2007 alfred eaker

Escape To A Mysterious Freedom© 2007 Alfred Eaker

A LUCID & ENTHUSIASTIC HOMAGE TO A GREAT ARTIST

“Oh, I hate that man. He left his wife and children, was cruel to Van Gogh, and bedded down all those Tahitian girls. I just cannot look at his paintings.” This is a simple-minded, uninformed, dull, and predictable comment that I have little patience or tolerance for, and I have heard it countless times whenever I list Paul Gauguin among the painters I identify with aesthetically. Several films have been made about about Gauguin, yet none of them have caught his essence, at least until this documentary by Waldemar Januszczak. It is not a perfect film, but Gauguin is vividly present in it.

Donald Sutherland starred as Gauguin in the 1986 film Oviri, directed by Henning Carlson. In that film, the banker Gauguin and his wife, Matte, are on a Sunday horse and carriage ride with his co-workers and their wives. The financiers engage in shop talk while Gauguin broods. Finally, the frustrated painter taps the carriage driver on the shoulder and tells him to stop. Gauguin looks at his wife and peers and says, “You are my jailers.” With that, he jumps out of the carriage and walks off to find his paradise. A nice story but one that is a total fiction, buying into the painter’s mythology.

In actuality, Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), contrary to the repeated myths, was not a millionaire banker. He was a successful stock broker. He did not quit his job. The stock market crashed and he lost his job. Gauguin, who had been a “Sunday” painter for years, felt that this was reason enough to pursue painting full time, something he had been longing to do. It was with this that his wife left him. Gauguin did not desert his wife and five children. His wife rejected him after he lost his income as a stockbroker.

Art critic Waldemar Januszczak attempts to set the record straight. “What’s to like about this man?,” Januszczak asks. “First of all, there is the art, which needs no defense. Gauguin painted some of the world’s most alluring woman and put them into several of the world’s most gorgeous pictures, but what I really like about him is that he did it for big and noble reasons.” And then, most aptly, he says, “There is always more to a Gauguin than meets the eye.” Januszczak covers those “big and noble reasons,” but falls a little short in the “more than meets the eye” comment (more on that later).

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SHIFTING SANCTUARIES

The 1956 Marc Chagall etching “Samuel Anointing Saul” depicts the last of the judges, the middle-aged Samuel, anointing the young Saul as Israel’s first king. This action, in the literary development of First Samuel, expresses a symbolic, narrative shifting of
sanctuaries for Israel. Yahweh’s people, rejecting the sons of Samuel, and thus rejecting the hereditary line of judges, ask for their first King. The Israelites desire what other nations have. They desire the sanctuary of strong, human leadership in a king. It is with this pivotal point in the drama of First Samuel that Israel’s mode of sanctuary shifts from the security of the prophetic leadership to the security of an earth-bound leadership.

Chagall’s etching is interesting in it’s expressive depiction. There is, of course, debate as to the actual age of Saul, ranging from a man in his early twenties to a middle-aged man of
forty. Naturally, such a debate potentially treats the character as an historical one. The degree of historicity is, wisely, not at all a concern to Chagall. The artist’s youthful depiction of the literary character, serves the work well. In representing the Saul figure as a youth, Chagall captures the inherent humility of the character in the scriptural text. “Is not my family the least of all the families from the tribe of Benjamin?”[1]Later,
after being anointed king, Saul returns home, as if nothing has happened, and
even neglects to tell his family of his kingship. The look on Saul’s face in the etching, as Samuel anoints him, captures the introverted essence of the character. Further emphasizing that inner quality, is the gesture of Saul’s hand, across his bosom. Samuel’s fatherly hand cups Saul’s hand, depicting an intimate admiration, on Samuel’s part, for the young Saul. Saul looks heavenward, feeling unworthy of this coronation.

Additionally, there is a milieu of pathos in Chagall’s work. This is pronounced in the expressive eyes of both Samuel and Saul. Samuel’s eyes are like a doe’s eyes. They are black, soft, and penetrating, seemingly foreshadowing the tension of his future relationship with the king. Saul’s humility is coupled with his feelings of insecurity.
Chagall seems to sympathize with both men in this visual interpretation and the
artist masterfully captures a fully emotional range, which is only hinted at in
the text. Knowledge of the unfolding narrative, after the anointing of Saul,
undoubtedly influenced Chagall’s interpretive choices.

The story of Saul’s anointing is one of the most uniquely edited in the whole of scripture. The narrator’s juxtaposition of Saul’s search for lost mules with Samuel’s searching for
Israel’s first king is strikingly compelling. Walter Brueggemann writes, “The pericope is destined to bring out Samuel’s capacity as seer and Saul’s slowness to comprehend the movement of history as it swirls around him. The two themes of kingship and asses play off each other masterfully.” [2] Chagall’s newly anointed Saul is drawn as a youth we can readily imagine as a man who feels perplexed as the movement of history swirls around him. Barbara Green poses an interesting question that adds to Chagall’s etching of Saul and to Saul’s portrait from the biblical text, “ What sense can we make of Saul’s
prominent hesitation to be king, his apparent squeamishness about handling both
approbation and opposition?” [3]

Later in the text, when instructing Samuel to chooses Saul’s successor, Yahweh tells Samuel, “ God does not see as human beings see; they look at appearances but Yahweh looks at the heart.”[4] Yet, oddly, Yahweh seems to look primarily at appearances in both the choosing of David and in the previous choosing of Saul because we are told that both are beautiful or handsome men. Chagall’s Saul personifies the notion of physical
beauty.

Chagall’s etching captures the sublime, physical beauty of the narrative moment it depicts. Simultaneously, this work also expresses the deep, rudimentary emotions at play under the surface of the text. Chagall’s later works on the subject of Saul convey the tragic arch of the reign that followed Saul’s coronation. Saul’s sanctuary of an anonymous life at
home shifts to the total absence of sanctuary as the first king of Yahweh’s people.


[1] The New
Jerusalem Bible: First Samuel
.  New
York: Doubleday, 1990.

[2] Brueggemann,
Walter. First and Second Samuel. Louisville: John Knox Press, 1990.p.73

[3] Green, Barbara. King Saul’s Asking. Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 1989.p.43

[4] The New
Jerusalem Bible: First Samuel
.  New
York: Doubleday, 1990.

MODERN SPIRITUALITY

Fr. Justin Belitz and Fr. Hilary Ottensmeyer

From 1999 to 2000, I painted a mural, in oils, for St. Vincent De Paul client food choice pantry in Indianapolis, having been commissioned by Carolyn Reifel, who was the director of that facility. It took nearly a year. The mural was a donation btw, and we followed that with an art auction. Numerous local and national artists donated their work(s) to the auction in an effort to raise funds for the pantry.  The mural spanned several walls, on  dry wall. I began the mural with images of two priests who were and are still considerable influences in my life; Fr. Justin Belitz O.F.M and Fr. Hilary Ottensmeyer O.S.B.

Fr. Hilary, who had introduced me to Fr. Justin, passed away a mere two weeks after completion of the mural in 2000. I was blessed by his being able to see the completed mural before he passed this temporary coil.

The above are some images and a Nuvo article I came across. One note about the article: It seems to indicate that the auction was not well attended. While we did not have the turn out we had hoped for, over the course of the evening it was indeed fairly well attended and we raised enough money to feed one hundred families for a year.

Tapping back into my thinking from twelve years ago, I entitled the mural “Modern Spirituality” from the mindset of a post Vatican II Catholicism and an ecumenical, inter-faith spirit.

Fr. Justin Belitz and Fr. Hilary Ottensemeyer are representative of that post Vatican II Spirituality. Their images graced several walls of the mural, as did images of Mother Teresa, Pope John XXIII, Our Lady, Gauatama Buddha, and scenes from a charismatic, protestant church service.

Now, twelve years later, I am attaining my Masters of Theological Studies at Christian Theological Seminary.