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Video Interview: Guillermo Esparza, An American Iconographer

In this interview Guillermo Esparza opens up the exclusive world of traditional Byzantine Iconography and shares his discoveries and techniques. The influences of classical architecture, of his extensive religious and ecumenical studies, keep alive an ancient canon, painted in pigments freshly ground and mixed by hand in medieval tradition. His path to Iconographer was long and arduous: thousands of brush stokes, years of constant study at the Morgan Library and at the General Theological Seminary, a master emerges.

As a boy Guillermo was stuck with the wonder at church icons and a rooted feel for the work of grandfather Don Benito’s work in Mexico. Two great men — Martin Schaffer, and Bishop Michael Dudick of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic shaped his development. After years of working as an environmental sculptor in the Southwest, in 1988 Guillermo decided to learn the art of the Orthodox and moved to New York City. “Bishop Michael Dudick was an expert in iconography and pointed out many of the directions that I should go.”

Today, Guillermo Esparza is internationally recognized and respected for his work. Currently he’s capomaestro for the Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation and artist-in-residence at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral in Manhattan, New York. He recently received a Proclamation from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, honoring his recent exhibition “Arcanum Angelorum” (Mystery of the Angels) at St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral.

Here you will view some of his Iconography and other works accompanied by music from Guillermo’s wife, Maria Andriasova Esparza, daughter of the famous Russian composer Iosif Andriasov.

See slideshow and video interview:

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Email: Veronica Aberham, the filmmaker at:


Posted by Veronica Aberham on 6/1/09

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