Silence – Water Flames

Silence - Water Flames by Makoto Fujimura, 2015
Silence – Water Flames by Makoto Fujimura, 2015

Makoto Fujimura, a modern-day Christian abstract-expressionist, paints the most ridiculously extravagant canvases, using materials like gold, and this one also contains sixty layers of a special Japanese vermillion.

I am so thrifty (aka cheap) that I painted dry-brush in college so I would use less paint and could make my tubes last until the end of the semester. I still have some of those tubes. And I will continue to use them until they dry up or get too gooey or whatever old paint does.

How can Mr. Fujimura justify putting so much expense into his work? I haven’t been looking long at his art, but I know enough that some of his key words are sacrifice, sanctification, tears, silence, and grace. His work carries depth that perhaps couldn’t be expressed with normal paint. What is Jesus worth to us? What is the soul worth? These are unanswerable questions. Or maybe the answer is “More than everything.” That might be key to the richness of his work. Even a golden Fujimura painting can’t fully describe the beauties of Christianity. Even “Silence – Water Flames” with its sixty layers of rare vermillion can’t cover sins the way Christ’s blood can. But his works are the closest I’ve seen to expressing these things.


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