A great man is one who collects knowledge the way a bee collects honey and uses it to help people overcome the difficulties they endure - hunger, ignorance and disease!
- Nikola Tesla

Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.
- Franklin Roosevelt

While their territory has been devastated and their homes despoiled, the spirit of the Serbian people has not been broken.
- Woodrow Wilson

In the Mirror

A Collection of Iconographic Essays and Illustrations

By Fr. Stamatis Skliris

The Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America is pleased to announce the publication of an outstanding book by Fr. Stamatis Skliris, a disciple of the great twentieth-century theologians Archimandrite Justin Popovich and Bishop Athanasius Yevtich. Fr. Stamatis is a parish priest in Athens and is renowned as an iconographer and as a writer and lecturer on Byzantine iconography.

In the Mirror is the second of a planned collection of works of contemporary theologians. It is an anthology of Fr. Stamatis’ articles which have appeared in Greek and Serbian. In it, he combines adherence to the teachings of the Church Fathers with a vibrant expression of faith through the experience of Christ in the Church. The book is adorned with more than 200 striking icons and illustrations by Fr. Stamatis.

Fr. Stamatis’ contribution to modern art (both Church art, and art in general) through his painting and iconography is already a generally established fact. Focusing on themes central to patristic Christology and Anthropology, the book reveals the ultimate purpose of the icon. Fr. Stamatis speaks of how, through the reality of the Incarnation of the Invisible God, we have been given the possibility of Christian iconography, iconology and icon veneration.

Upon observing Fr. Stamatis’ artwork, we see that he manages to link the graphic and the chromatic elements harmoniously and with rare originality, thus anticipating with his drawing and coloring a wondrous world, God’s world of love and light. With regard to the graphic element, by the mobility and expressiveness of his images, with the open, childlike looks in their eyes—through his excellent knowledge of anatomy (being a medical doctor) and of psychology (being a priest and a spiritual father)—Fr. Stamatis overcomes the immobility and inertia of fallen human nature through a movement of reaching out, which is the feat of loving and of an eager progress toward Christ. As far as coloration is concerned, by a combination of color (warm-cold, complementary), by a gradation of tones, and by a multitude of vibrating shades brought on by the brush—employing the best solutions from the history of the art of painting (Byzantine, impressionist, cubistic, abstract, surrealist, etc.)—and in doing all this, illuminating everything by light, Fr. Stamatis anticipates the coloration of Paradise, the coloration of “a new Heaven and a new Earth” (Rev. 21:1). In addition to this, he also offers a thematic contribution: he does not overlook emphasizing the historic, tragic element (agony, suffering, wounds, and pain) in the images of saints and martyrs depicted in his works, and especially in his most recent creations, which are, nevertheless, illuminated by the Light which overcomes the world and history.

Contents:

  1. A Questioning Gaze by Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon
  2. Aesthetic Light and Ontological Light in the Art of Painting
  3. The Pedagogical Potential of Byzantine Art
  4. From Portrait to Icon
  5. The Person of Christ and the Style of Icons
  6. The Icons of Fr. Stamatis Skliris by Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon
  7. An Interpretation of Hellenism Based on the Conduction of Light
  8. Shading and Psychology in the Wall Paintings of Saint Nikolaos Orphanos
  9. Andrei Rublev—The Saint of Russian Iconography
  10. The Icon and the Ultimate State of Existence by Bishop Maxim (Vasiljevic) of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Western America

SA

 

People Directory

Nemanja Bala

Nemanja Bala (writer/director/producer) was born and raised in the former Yugoslavia. At the age of nineteen, he received a tennis scholarship to study in the United States at the University of Hartford, where he majored in film studies and began making short fiction and documentary films. His work has been shown on Serbian National Television and the festival circuit. While at Columbia University’s Graduate Film Division, he concentrated in screenwriting and received his MFA in 2006.

.
Read more ...

Publishing

Sailors of the Sky

A conversation with Fr. Stamatis Skliris and Fr. Marko Rupnik on contemporary Christian art

In these timely conversations led by Fr. Radovan Bigovic, many issues are introduced that enable the contemporary reader to deepen and expand his or her understanding of the role of art in the life of the Church. Here we find answers to questions on the crisis of contemporary ecclesiastical art in West and East; the impact of Impressionism, Expressionism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract painting on contemporary ecclesiastical painting; and a consideration of the main distrinction between iconography and secular painting. The dialogue, while resolving some doubts about the difference between iconography, religious painting, and painting in general, reconciles the requirement to obey inconographic canons with the freedom essential to artistic creativity, demonstrating that obedience to the canons is not a threat to the vitatlity of iconography. Both artists illumine the role of prayer and ascetisicm in the art of iconography. They also mention curcial differences between iconography in the Orthodox Church and in Roman Catholicism. How important thse distinctions are when exploring the relationship between contemporary theology and art! In a time when postmodern "metaphysics' revitalizes every concept, these masters still believe that, to some extent, Post-Modernism adds to the revitatiztion of Christian art, stimulating questions about "artistic inspiration" and the essential asethetic categories of Christian painting. Their exceptionally wide, yet nonetheless deep, expertise assists their not-so-everday connections between theology, ar, and modern issues concerning society: "society" taken in its broader meaning as "civilization." Finally, the entire artistic project of Stamatis and Rupnik has important ecumenical implications that aswer a genuine longing for unity in the Christian word.

The text of this 94-page soft-bound book has been translated from the Serbian by Ivana Jakovljevic, Fr. Gregory Edwards, and Andrijana Krstic. Published by Sebastian Press, Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Contemporary Christian Thought Series, number 7, First Edition, ISBN: 978-0-9719505-8-0