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Mary Jane Miller

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Birthplace
New York

Birth year
1954

Lives in
San Migule Allende, Mexico

Works in
Egg Tempera

Website

Representing galleries
Icons

Tags
installation, mary jane miller, egg tempera technique, fine art for sale, art in mexico, san miguel allende, spiritual modern art, spiritual art

Outsider Iconographer

For my first 20 years as an artist,  I made money, it was a job and a service. I messed around in plenty of mediums and treated clients honestly. I gave them what I thought they wanted as best and creatively as I could. I said yes to everything and every medium, murals, weaving, furniture, etc. At the age of 40, I was invited to an icon writing workshop with an orthodox priest. That first icon encounter swept me up like a wave. From then on, I was driven to reproduce these ancient images.

I came to Mexico when I was 21 looking for a place to rest from the crazy happenings of the 70's around Boston and New York. I was here a year abroad, from the Boston Museum School. I met Valentine, 18 hours after my arrival, the man I married 10 months later. We are both full time artists, always have been, 38 years of blissful marriage, to this day working often  on the same piece.. We lived between both countries for nearly 30 years, a small farm in Virginia and our large studio Gallery here in  San Miguel Allende. 

I have written books, given workshops in spanish and english, in monasteries and retreat centers.

I lecture and strive for peace. See project installation, 2 years of work and exploration.

Photshop is my latest expolration and a new book comming out about Mary Magdelen and the absence of Women in the Church.

Where do all these ideas come from?

The Byzantine Church in Constantinople elevated icons as a way to explain the Christ story in image. For the masses, books were expensive and most people could not read anyway. The Byzantium Empire preceded the Renaissance. The legacy of biblical pictures is vast, however; Renaissance and Byzantine images are not the same. Byzantine images have neither bleeding Christ or sorrowful weeping mother Mary, nor wiggly baby Jesus or anguished suffering saints. This imagery developed after the black plague in Europe where 20 million died and the church adopted the idea that we are sinful. The earlier church emphasized mystical awe and wonder which comes from Knowing God. Often the faces of Byzantine icons are with no expression, no more than a gaze towards the viewer, blank and distant having been stuck by the presence of God. Backgrounds and garments are stark and abstract, while the flesh seems to breathe.

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