Blog archive January 2008
the background is stainless steel - a silver ground instead of the traditional gold. the light from heaven is sketched in on the steel top left, illuminating the back of the figure's neck and casting his face into shadow. his wings are similarly sketched on the steel so that they are only visible when caught by the light. he holds a lottery ticket, and makes the chi-rho gesture - which has an ambiguity on such a person - it could be the national lottery logo or a gang sign. the halo occupies the centre of the icon, and the two white cuffs are symmetrically placed rings below.
st matthew is traditionally depicted as a winged man, in reference to the four living creatures of revelation 4:6-9 and ezekiel 1 as symbols of the four gospels. being a tax collector, he is the patron saint of bankers!
i think mike's become a very good icon painter, combining the traditions with wholly contemporary imagery. he's curating the art show 14th-21st february for moot community arts' 'beyond the wilderness' season - might have one or two of his own works in there too.