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Photo Apr 30, 10 02 36 AM.jpg

the Icons

Ancient icons of saints portray everyone as old, white, expressionless, and hard to tell apart. I believe these pieces of Church imagery can turn modern-thinking people away from the influences of the saints, and even the Church itself.  

My goal was to re-imagine these extraordinary people as modern, everyday humans... because that is exactly what they were, and they remind us of ourselves. They show us that we can all be saints just like them.


The saints were hopeless, spunky, terrified, lonely, individualistic, rebellious, progressive, loving, ambitious, counter-cultural, or boisterous outcasts and sinners who reached beyond themselves and made the world and themselves so much better. They were some of the original social justice warriors, and they can inspire us even in our present day.

In these paintings, I have tried to make a point to prove that fact. I have corrected ethnicities to show the Church’s more widespread, though hidden, diversity. I have given each a character or personality and a real human expression, and each has a style and a modern twist.  

These icons are also traditional, though, in the ways that backgrounds are kept to solid colors, the original ancient Greek (or as close to it as we can get) lettering spells out each saints' name, and details, poses, and symbols are mimicked from original icons, too.

You may notice that some of these pieces have a noticeable wood texture, cracks, or imperfections. To further the notion of extraordinary coming from ordinary, I have painted each on a discarded or thrifted piece of wood. Much like the saints, each plaque once forgotten was transformed and is now revered. 


Gracie Morbitzer.jpg

I am a recent graduate of the Columbus College of Art & Design with a degree in Interior Architecture and Design with a focus in exhibit and set design. I live in Columbus, Ohio, and take much of my creative inspiration from this city. I am a self-taught painter and The Saints are my first fully-realized project. With any free time I have between running and creating The Modern Saints, I also write, travel, research, and create in other mediums. I have passions for history, cheese, vintage anything, loud music and concerts, plants, and badminton. I am definitely not a morning person.  



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