New York City artist Makoto Fujimara’s Illuminated Gospels.
Sociologist Tony Carnes sees Fujimura as part of a “global religious transformation,” the result of blurring lines between mainstream and religious culture. Another recent illustrated manuscript of Genesis, by decidedly secular illustrator R. Crumb, is evidence of this shift.
Fujimura also recognizes this movement, saying “the Age of Faith is coming.” This illuminated manuscript, painted in Midtown Manhattan by a cultural navigator like Fujimura, will be further affirmation. “Jesus is a New Yorker,” Carnes says. “And he’s got an illustrated Bible.”
The commission is an illuminated manuscript published by Crossway, to commemorate the four hundred year anniversary of The King James Bible, set to be released January 2011. The leather-bound English Standard Version of the Bible, printed with a six-color metallic process, will comprise the four Gospels as designed and illustrated by Fujimura.
We need more beauty like this. It gives us eyes to see beyond into the mystery that’s all around us, and it opens our hearts to express that mystery in our own ways.