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Award Sponsor: RayMar Art

They have eyes but see not, ears but hear not
by Marc Chatov
Oil 60 x 44

Entered in: 8th Annual Competition Month #8 - November 2014

Judge's Comments: I am not a particularly religious man myself but letís start by getting this out on the table: Psalm 115:5-8 ďThey have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see. They have ears, but do not hear; noses, but do not smell. They have hands, but do not feel; feet, but do not walk; and they do not make a sound in their throat. Those who make them become like them; so do all who trust in them.Ē Marc Chatov appears to be drawing from the biblical text above for his painting. And this was the only painting I reviewed that overtly set out to tell a story using a blend of religious iconography and contemporary references. You do not need to know the biblical passage to properly read Marcís painting because he works with references most people know. Who among us has not walked past the homeless while checking in on our Facebook status? Who among us hasnít missed out on something meaningful in life because we failed to be present at a time we should? A halo around the head of a Christ-like figure instantly tells us we are in the presence of a spiritual being. However, Marcís painting is not about the two pedestrians who fail to take notice of Jesus as they pass by, it is about you or me, who have stopped in our tracks, and it is about Christ who awaits our reaction. All of this is accentuated by our inability to turn and look into the eyes of anyone else. This is a complicated painting, and one that can be interpreted in multiple ways. So I will will just offer one possibility: There is form created by light and shadow and a concerted effort to create a powerful design. The blue field in the window with the pink oval could conceivably be associated with the presence of Mary, Mother of God, and if so, then it is a nice touch to see the blue repeated downwards towards Christ through the shadow on the wall onto his shoulder and into the lapel of his jacket, as well as seeing it appear one more time on the concrete step behind his right boot. Why? Because the color visually stitches the composition together while it also extends the narrative. One can simply enjoy the blue as blue or attach a deeper religious significance to the way it envelopes Jesus and gently separates him from rest of the world. Marcís narrative intent may be overt but his handling of this painting is sublime in many ways. I enjoy the strong and confident application of paint and how it conveys a certain degree of honesty. Marc quietly draws upon a strong article of faith and contextualizes it with our hectic modern life. - Thomas Jefferson Kitts