Over the years I have been struck by the nature of Buddha figures, their calm, their serenity and their evident wisdom. I often photographed them. As I looked further, I saw that Buddhas were not alone. There were figures and symbols from many religions intended to cause reflection, to inspire these feelings of being present and to express deeper spiritual ideas. It seemed to me that seen together, the images would resonate with one another and that their juxtaposition might create new understanding. Fifteen Thousand Buddhas then is my project to photograph thousands of religious icons, capturing the feelings they generate.
These images were made as portraits Each attempts to see the intention of the artist who created the icon as well as the qualities the icon represents.
The icons come from many religions. By project’s end, I hope to have something representative of every religion. When finished they will be a kaleidoscope of pictures; a wealth of images intended to generate thoughtful and contemplative feelings. It should be rich enough to invite repeated viewings and it should repay those viewings with a fresh view every time. The first public viewing of these pictures was in February 2015 at the Shatto Chapel of the First Congregational Church in Los Angeles.
This gallery holds about 400 from the thousands of pictures I have made for the project. They were gathered here to be edited into a video that was made for the Sacred Faces exhibition. This is not the finished work, just a peek at the process of creation, an unfinished work in the studio. The first fifteen are current thinking about the best way to present the images, the others are earlier versions.
I think the best way to see this gallery is to click on the slideshow tab and turn up Stuart Balcomb's beautiful music - that's what I do to see what is fitting together and what needs more work. Enjoy!
Bless you Andy. These are gorgeous images. Only wish I could be there to see them up close. Hugs to Darcy.
All images and text copyright Andy Romanoff© - all rights reserved