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For She Is the Breadth of the Power of God   Jan Neal, Curator                                                                                                                             presented June 15, 2006



Black Madonna of Catalonia

by Gerard DiFalco
(Painting, 2005, 24" x 18")
t. Clement's Church - Philadelphia, PA


My journey into Spiritual and Iconographic Art began in 1992 when I was diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease and RSD (Severe Chronic Pain Syndrome). I needed to motivated my studio endeavors with more than visual pursuits, and found this outlet in expressing Divinity in my art. I do not see my Icons as idolatry; rather, I hope these works inspire viewers to find Christ within their own lives and hearts. Also, in the early history of iconography, not all people were literate; now, even though most people read, I believe that many do not digest what they read as a result of the electronic media's prominence in today's communicational stratification. Therefore, I hope that my spiritual visual works enable the stories they represent to convey a sincere humanism.
These Madonna Paintings all represent the importance of women in the fabric of civilization and in Christianity, a new religion that evolved from Judaic religious law that was, for the most part, quite misogynistic. Christ gave us one law, which was to love one another. What his disciples (all Hebrews who were raised on Hebrew Law) did after his departure (and what was decided at the Council of Nicea 300 years AD) perhaps had very little to do with how Jesus really felt about women. My Madonnas are not just symbols of the human procreative force and woman's major role in that; rather, my "Ladys". Mothers", and "Female Saint" Icons are statements of the Divine Nature of Women in Her role as teacher (rabbi or priest included), healer, provider, ruler of the young, artist, story-teller, warrior, farmer, and magician (to kiss a boo-boo on a child is very strong magic). I also see women as a mediator between men and God's law of Love, the weavers of the neo-wisdom in our post-messianic era, which has lasted over 2,000 years. pace. It is a direct answer to the prayer for spiritual sight and a hint of the immenseness and power of “all things” growing “into . . . Christ.”


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2006 The Episcopal Church and Visual Art