August 1, 2010
Holy St. Michael, Batman!
Sorry, that’s a silly title. I was blown away by this drawing by Daniel Mitsui featured on Korrektiv:
The artist says:
Here is something unlike anything I’ve drawn previously. This ink drawing (with gold leaf details) of St. Michael fighting the devil was commissioned by a priest of the Maryknoll Missionaries, an order with a long history of missionary activity in Japan. He asked whether I thought it possible to create an image of the archangel in the style of traditional Japanese art without the result being kitsch.
I was certainly willing to make an attempt. . .
I was also curious to see how successfully I could maintain the western iconographic traditions in the content and arrangement of religious pictures while using an eastern style of illustration.
St. Michael seems to bring out the best in artists. So many children’s Bibles, for instance, are fitted out with tame and soggy little set pieces–high priests in limp robes, Jesus looking mildly annoyed at the moneychangers. But then you get to St. Michael, and shazam! Something catches fire, and you get a good picture. Maybe when the Greeks felt the Muses singing in them, they meant angels.
Anyway, I wish I had a little spending cash. I have two new godsons named Michael, and I want one of these prints for our house, too. Do check out Daniel Mitsui’s website–his work is varied and fascinating.
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