Sodom and Gomorrah

The divine judgement on these two cities is described in Genesis in terms that appear to refer to a volcanic eruption. They thus presage a similar event occurring in 79 AD: the destruction of Pompeii and Herculaneum caused by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

The two canvases shown below were created by surrounding “before and after” collages, respectively, picturing the Genesis story with images from frescoes uncovered from the remains of the Roman cities.  Paper-mache and acrylic were used to blend the collaged elements together.

Entrance (2006, 3″ x 2″)
Lot greets the angels as they enter the city.

Departure (2006, 3′ x 2′)

Lot and his family flee Sodom.

Parable of The Prodigal Son

A better name for the so-called Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) would be the Parable of the Two Sons, both of whom have problems relating to their father. Verses 11-24 deal with the younger son while verses 25-32 are about the older son. Both sections end on the same note: “this son of mine (brother of yours) was dead and is alive again; he was lost and has been found.” The only difference is that verse 24 appends the words: “And they began to celebrate” whereas the end of the parable leaves it up in the air as to whether the older son will join in the celebration.  This open ending causes us to contemplate our own relationship to God and our siblings in Christ.

This story-telling technique used by Jesus mirrors exactly the abrupt ending of the Book of Jonah in which the prophet is chastized by God for his parochial attitude but we are left hanging as to the nature of Jonah’s final response.

The central figure in this story is, of course, the loving father who extends his grace to both errant children.
Each of the three panels of the 2010 triptych shown below features one of the actors in the parable.

Taker (17″ x 17″collage on masonite)

Giver (24″ x 13″ collage on masonite)

Earner (17″ x 17″ collage on masonite)