the Icons

     Awhile ago, I had the idea of modernizing Christian saints. Because 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.
     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 I  have given each a style and a modern twist. To further this 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.

Plaques before transformation

Gracie Morbitzer

About Gracie

Currently, I am a student at the Columbus College of Art and Design. I am studying Interior Design with the hopes of someday designing movie and theater sets. I also paint often, in which I am self-taught. I live in Columbus, Ohio, and the city is dear to me. I was also raised in the Catholic School system of the city and can thank them for my inspiration and passion. Though I love Jesus first, I also love concerts, history, traveling, thrifting, badminton, glitter, plants, vintage style, driving, dancing, writing, and reading.