Image Issue 102 is the first issue to fully showcase the work of our new editorial team. We think you’ll notice some differences in style that still honor the best of what the journal has always been.
The cover features the work of Israeli artist Leni Dothan, whose photo essay responds to art-historical images of the Madonna and Child. We’re also introducing two new recurring features dreamed up by art editor Aaron Rosen: “In the Studio,” this time with eminent Bahamian sculptor Antonius Roberts, and “Curator’s Corner,” with Eva Fischer-Hausdorf of the Bremen Kunsthalle. Inside you’ll also find: flash fiction by Ed Falco on the resilience of orchids—and humans. Elizabeth Harper on the Sicilian Catholic folk tradition of the Cult of the Beheaded. Heather Burtman on what she learned about God while interning as a hospital chaplain. Nick Ripatrazone on horror films that don’t believe in God. Katrina Vandenberg on the strange phenomenon of jam. Art advisor Nausikaa El-Mecky asks: can acts of destruction also be works of art? Plus an interview with novelist William Giraldi, poetry by Robert Fernandez, Christopher Howell, Elena Karina Byrne, and more.
What is more frightening: that God does not exist, or that God offers us no comfort?
The dead who walk the streets might be a relic of the past, something your Sicilian grandma might tell you about, but the Sanctuary of the Souls of the Beheaded is very much alive.
Chaplaincy was magnificent, and then suddenly it wasn’t.
The loneliness of the dead. How they are isolated by what they know about themselves and about us.
It’s sugar that makes fruit gel. Sugar preserves. Sugar is an everyday miracle. It causes fruit to retain its bright color, until it is brighter than it ever was on the tree. Heat and sugar alchemize to turn a jar of jam into a glowing jewel.
Why would you attack a beautiful work of art or building? In most cases, the clue is an urge to purify—a physical and spiritual decluttering beyond Marie Kondo’s wildest dreams.
We want to transform the museum into a place of reflection and contemplation.
We all need a rosary, whether we’re Catholic or not.
Leni Dothan examines and critiques how motherhood has been presented in western art history.
Aside from my children and wife, literature has been the intensest delight of my life.
All I can do now is recount their appearance: simple swamp white oak leaves.
In the virgin’s garden a ladder is kept for angels to step up & down.
Growing old is a form of gloating decay where your deepest lines are written by laughter and gravity.
I wonder sometimes if these words are like the golden calf: molten, as in a flame, and shaped by doubt.
It’s three a.m., that empty hour
when gangs of theologians prowl the streets looking for some stray angel to accost.
What angel will descend this night, will light this wire-strung alley to draw the fallen upward?
I love you. That human line of language, three syllables and eight letters with two spaces in between.
Today I am going to try not knowing, learn little and get nothing out of it.
Every time my father dies, I write a poem.
You are alone naked in a forest, surrounded. Alone, surrounded by a live ossuary of trees, shed twig, spell of oval stone.
Joyous and broken, we stared at our hands, folded, strangely unable to pray.
There are two ways to marry: right and wrong.
They know the rules, and how to play the game. Their calculations yield a tidy sum.
Could she be leaning forward after faith, leaner for the habit of not looking, promised to the long, dry
braid of disincentive with incentive.
I get lost easily, even now.
In the dark, everyone is kind.
Is it wrong to believe I’m due what was promised?
The hells they reproach are strewn around them like asphodel. Above, the Milky Way shines in broad daylight, a hundred billion burning strips of paper.
c I was reeding you
see I was reading you
sí I was red in you
It would be fine my mother said, as we boarded the plane back from school, the taste of ginger from the holiday still riding my back teeth.
While in years past, evacuation drills at the Kaiserman Jewish Community Center took place only every few months, now they occurred every other week.
When things went wrong—and they did, some things went terrifyingly wrong—he turned to prayer. He opened his hands to an unknowable God and prayed as best he could.
I’m tired of beauty. Or rather, I’m tired of hearing the word “beauty” overused and misapplied.