Over the course of the past year or so, I have been following the work of the artist Jacob Collins. He is one of the leading practitioners of Classical Realism and the dean of two art schools that, like his paintings, harken back to a bygone era of apprenticeship, craftsmanship, and beauty. His work is extraordinary. His commitment to raise up a whole new generation of fine artists is even more extraordinary. And this from a very young man!
I first became aware of Collins when he staged a spectacular one-man show at the prestigious John Pence Gallery.
Then I read a fascinating interview in the New Criterion.
My interest was further peaked when I read a profile of the artist and his wife, author Ann Brashares, in the New York Times.
Then, this past week as I read a MSNBC piece on the impact of Evangelical Christians on the arts--featuring the inscrutable abstract work of Makoto Fujimura--I was struck by the strange paradox of the loud and garish publicity of Modernity standing over and against the quiet substantiveness of Christendom.