Sunday, December 3, 2017

First Sunday of Advent

Title: Annunciation
Artist: Matthew Whitney
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 61 x 76 cm
Date: 2008
Location: Private Collection

Luke 1:26-31 -- And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.”

Mary, as captured by the frenetic brush of Matthew Whitney, looks more than just troubled, but rather terrified and utterly confused. Her bedroom is virtually invaded from both sides of the canvas. To the left Gabriel tries to delicately to bring her the message of the lord, his exhortation “Fear not” seeming to have little effect; to the right a menagerie of startling and grotesque animals force their way into the scene, although they, too, seem to hold Mary in reverence, prefiguring the animals in the manger.

Matthew Whitney is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who lives and works in Seattle, Washington. This painting was made as part of The Vancouver Project, a two week art residency at Regent College in Vancouver, BC. Selected Pacific Northwest-based artists created this visual art exhibition contemplating the beautiful, grotesque and sublime. The project provides a conduit for churches and other faith-based groups to support artists through project patronage, and hosting the art and artists in their community. More of Matthew’s art can be seen on his website

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