Contemporary Art , “Ancient Image, Byzantine Icon Studio
Tucked away in the colonia, a short distance from the historic downtown area of San Miguel Allende is a jewel of a studio not to be missed. The studio is surrounded by a natural garden of native plants and birds, slightly wild and disorganized. Large windows look out on quiet space.
Where in Mexico can you find enough hand painted icons to cover the floor? The collection of Contemporary Art , Ancient Image, in the Byzantine Icon Studio is vast, from traditional to contemporary, from comical to pious; the work is unique. The well used resource library for iconography is indispensable. Not too many folks in this tribe, part theologian and part comedian. I want to invite you to visit and explore with me conversations about the idea of God and lively attempts to create image as proof of his/her/it’s existence.
I have come to see the world as a metaphor, nearly everything which happens to us is screaming to be understood through the eye of spirit, we just need to reflect long enough to hear the message. The awe of the unexpected opens us up in a moment but its significance can hover throughout our life trying to reveal its great wisdom.
In 1974, eighteen hours after arriving in the colonial town of San Miguel Allende Mexico where I knew no one, nor the language, nor a thing about the culture I saw Valentine Gomez. It was Sunday night, he was walking the promenade around the main square with friends . Valentin had come from the Rancho, 20 kilometers from town. We saw each other and after 3 vueltas around the garden square we knew each other even though we never shared a spoken a word. Ten months later we were married. The first time I painted an icon it was the same kind of experience, powerful, undeniable, direct and precise.
Twenty years into the marriage I suddenly took up the icon painting as a prayer form, seduced by the power of divine image, an active way to integrate a life of action and a focus on spirit. One encounter is all it took to decide the tradition was worth exploring inside and out.
We are a bi lingual, bi cultural marriage between Mexican and the US. Full time artists doing Byzantine Greek Orthodox artwork in Mexico! We have lived between two countries for nearly 40 years, a small farm in Virginia and a three room home in Guanajuato. Valentin is the gardener, carpenter, technician, engineer and general stable influence along with God. Our two personalities could not be more different yet some say we have a unique blend of energy, reflected in our work and lifestyle; a bit of tension, grace and the age old evidence of love. These ancient time consuming techniques have taught us volumes about humanity, life and the energy there of. Please join us one day for Contemporary Art , “Ancient Image, Byzantine Icon Studio . Peace