We at the MVL Art Factory made this Chuck Close-style interpretation of Samantha Kowalke's original painting. It offers an interesting tension between the individual shapes and the broader image. This was a tricky project because our ample art studio still did not offer enough distance to really see the effect we were hoping for. Here is the explanation as printed in the Christmas concert program:
The artwork behind the choir references the original painting on the cover of this program. The members of the MVL Art Factory reinterpreted Samantha Kowalke’s piece in the style of contemporary artist Chuck Close. Close is an eminent figurative artist in New York City who paints large-scale portraits using optical color mixing and a grid. Optical color mixing is a method of painting similar to the CMYK method of printing used in magazines and newspapers. Our eyes and brains will blend bits of color together if they are small enough-or far away. In fact when an artist blends two colors together on palette, there are separate microscopic bits of color that appear to become a new color. Besides a great challenge and interesting experiment for the Art Factory, we can find an analogy in this work. The overall image of the Christ Child is composed of a wide variety of colors and marks. Like the Body of Christ, like the invisible church on earth, this artwork is composed of bits and pieces put together to present a semblance of a whole. Likewise we see things differently from a distance, just as God sees patterns and plans that we cannot detect in the details of life.