I look and I see. We see as we are.
Art is visible consciousness. I was a graduate student of art when images of the Chauvet Caves first emerged. That same year, Hubble Deep Fields returned the oldest, material light back to our eyes. It was within this same milieu that photography was ruled inadmissible as evidence in a U.S. court of law.
While I was abreast of the theories stinging inside my skull, I was most haunted while I studied painting at L’Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence by the pull to early Christian and medieval Europe. It was Bonanno, Wiligelmo, Gislebertus, and the greatest artist of all—Anonymous—who conveyed to me a story older than religion. Primeval, folk visions, as of Adam dreaming the Bible, awakened an iconographer.
Meeting Tau Malachi and hearing stories between the lines of the Bible roused in me new dreams of Adam. I am fully aware that sacred art is taboo in postmodern life. Yet in my imagination, biblical schemata wouldn’t relent. If first an image is beautiful such that it’s familiar, then the rest will follow.
I am committed to visualizing the Sophian oral tradition.
Your Not My Baby
Your Not My Baby is a Graphic Novel written and illustrated entirely on whiteboards. A mother discovers her baby isn't from Earth.
Black Mirrors in progress for Fall 2022 Verge Open Studios Gallery
Black Mirrors Statement:
In this new series, I invite the viewer into a contemplation of the impermanence of everything. Formally, the pieces are centered on literal black mirrors framed with natural woods joined into vaginal shapes.
In Sophian lineage, the black mirror symbolizes the radiant darkness of the mother’s womb. The cosmos is not dark at all, but only appears black where nothing reflects the light. These new pieces reflect this in my personal narrative while expanding the universal narrative of loss, grief and finding purpose.
Equal Arms Gallery
Equal Arms Statement:
This series of equal-armed, wooden crosses invites viewers into the mystery of union. Recycled and exotic wood forms are joined together in an array of styles. Their joinery is the meditation.
In Sophian lineage, the equal-armed cross looks forward to the World to Come, the distinction of all things integrated: Outside-Inside, Feminine-Masculine, Being and Becoming are inseparable and simultaneous, uniting within each of us. These sculptures reflect my personal journey in Spirit while expanding the universal narrative uniting everything.
Interview with Gioia Fonda
St. Mary Magdalene.
Acrylic ink and metal leaf on wood. 36 inches. 2018
Commissioned by Sophia Fellowship, this icon of St. Mary Magdalene alludes to Kabbalistic and Gnostic principles of “The Lover” of the Song of Solomon as the Holy Bride of Messiah. The apple orchard—the Pardes—is a potent metaphor in Jewish mysticism of revelations of the Holy Spirit, the feminine counterpart of the Divine whom rabbis call the Shekinah. Sophian oral tradition centers this Judaic principle of the Holy Bride in St. Mary Magdalene, who, with Yeshua the Bridegroom, completes the picture of the Divine Human. It is She who anointed Yeshua with a jar of costly perfume and wiped his feet with her hair (John 12.3). It is She who held vigil at the empty tomb to witness and preach the resurrection. It is She, as immanent wisdom—the Holy Spirit—who reveals Messiah as our inmost soul.
Get the poster here
Film in production. Youtube coming
Various woods and stained glass. 2009-2017
This multi-phase installation commissioned for the main sanctuary space of Sophia Fellowship began with a humble folk serpent on a cross (John 3.14) of antique wood. Some years later emerged a design in stained glass of the Burning Bush. Its radial design intends the mazlot—zodiac—of the twelve tribes of Jacob and apostles co-redeeming with Yeshua Messiah. The window frame is crowned with four cherubim. The wings and faces of the lion, eagle, human, and ox form a circle around the central Burning Bush. The altar beneath of olive, cedar, and sassafras reflects the frame of angels above as wrathful seraphim below. The pillar gate bearing Holy Names of the Mercy and Severity of God, completes this matrix, alluding to the pillars of Boaz and Jachin installed by Solomon in the first temple (1 Kings 7.21). This sanctuary space is the heart of ceremonial life as a community. May all beings be blessed.
Qarban | Offering
“Lamb” and other drawings chosen by Solum Press are studies for mixed media icons illustrating "Qarban | Offering," a poetry collection that explores the principles of revelation by way of self-offering.
Dark Before Dawn
Set on a vast prairie landscape, Dark Before Dawn is a short experimental documentary that plumbs the liminal moment of balance between light and darkness, beginning and end. From the same dark silhouettes of the landscape, this intimate meditation unfolds scenes gazing east into the dawn or west into the dusk. The ambivalence of light and time envelops the viewer in a mystical embrace beyond duality.
Blessed Name of Yeshua
Blessed Name of Yeshua. Ink and metal leaf on wood. 36 inches. 2020
Based on the verse, “But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings (Malachi 4:2), “The Blessed Name of Yeshua,” It is a gift for a pastor and friend who survived COVID. Featuring the Hebrew letters of the name YHVH with the central figure of the letter Shin as a great eagle, this icon is a meditation on mystical spelling the name Yeshua-Jesus.
Get Prints Here
Art Commissions of Sophia Fellowship
“Holy Logos.” Ink and metal leaf on wood. Private client, 2021
“Blessed Name of Yeshua.” Ink and metal leaf on wood. Private client, 2020
“Sacred Marriage Staff.” Juniper wood and amethyst. Private client, 2020
“St. Mary Magdalene.” Ink and metal leaf on sculpted wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2019
“Yahweh Yireh Altar.” Sassafras, olive, old-growth redwood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2015-16
“Yahweh Yireh Altar.” With Kenny Glaspie, 2015-16
“Asherah.” Acrylic and metal leaf on wood, 2014
“Tree of Life.” Stained glass and sculpted wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2013
“Yeshua Window.” Stained glass. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2013
“Holy Living Creatures.” Enamel and metal leaf on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2007
“Black Madonna and Child.” Enamel and metal leaf on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2006
“Solar Feast Icons.” Enamel on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2003-05
“Angel of the Apocalypse.” Enamel and metal on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2002
“Crucifixion.” Acrylic on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2002
“Yeshua, Magdalene, Lilith Triptych.” Enamel on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2001
“Transfiguration.” Enamel on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2001
“Coptic Archangels.” Enamel and metal leaf on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2001
“Archangels.” Enamel and metal leaf on wood. Ecclesia Pistis Sophia, 2000
Murals and Student Collaborations
“Mekong Faces.” Mural with Hmong students of Lindhurst High School, 2013
“Resilience.” Mural with Cris Gallardo, Lindhurst High School, 2012
“Altares Del Mundo.” With students of Bitney Springs High School, 2001-4
“Sea Turtle’s Adventure.” ARTS Gallery, Auburn, CA, 2000
Awards & Recognition
Cosumnes River, Second Place, Thirty-Fourth Art Annual, Lodi, 1995
Armillary Sphere, Peyser Prize in Painting, CSU Sacramento, 1994
Bust. McCoy Award, Pastels Third Biennial National Exhibition, 1994
Portfolio. Honorable Mention, National Foundation for the Advancement of the Arts, 1991
Group Exhibition, “Silence,” Fe Gallery, Sacramento, CA 2022
Solo Exhibition, “Equal Arms,” Sacramento Poetry Center, 2021
Group Exhibition, Verge Open Studios and Auction, Sacramento, CA 2021
Solo Exhibition, “(Sun)Flower,” Posh Nosh, Nevada City, CA 2000
Solo Installations, “As If,” Uptown Arts’ Phantom Galleries, Sacramento, California, 1996
Exhibition, “Trentadue,” Galleria via Larga, Florence, Italy, 1995
Performance, “The Stoning of the Adulteress,” Chiesa di Dante, Florence, Italy, 1995
Exhibition, “Nissa”. Artel Figurative Works Exhibit, Detroit, Michigan, 1995
Exhibition, “Tree Frog Monotype.” Small Works, Catskill Art Society, Catskill, New York, 1994
Exhibition, “River Haze.” USA Eighth Annual International Open Exhibition, Ft. Walton Beach, FL, 1994
Equals Arms Fall 2021 https://watershedreview.com/art/elder-gideon/
Equal Arms October 2021 https://theravensperch.com/?s=gideon
Equal Arms October 2021 https://www.805lit.org/post/loyalty
Equal Arms October 2021 https://stormcellar.org/tag/elder-gideon/
Equal Arms Summer 2021 https://www.offthecoastmag.com/
BA Fine Arts & Italian Studies, California State University, Sacramento, 1997
CSU International Program: L’Accademia di Belle Arti, Florence, Italy, 1994-1995