Mark Steven Greenfield at All Saints Church Pasadena: Black Madonna's and Halo's
Preliminary Curatorial Thoughts: Christianity in America was founded on Colonialism, Chattel Slavery, and a long, uphill, protracted road toward Black lives mattering, which continues to this day. Some of the paintings can be a bit jarring in the sacred space. One features a Black Mary and Black Jesus with scenes of the KKK hanging from trees in the background. But it flips the script on our own heritage: Black enslaved peoples were forced to come to Jesus while looking at beautiful stained glass windows of white Mary and white Jesus, knowing that their relatives were being beat, burned, tortured, hung, and murdered in the background. The Episcopal Church has its own sordid and complicit history, as detailed in "Black and Episcopalian: The Struggle for Inclusion" by Gayle Fisher-Stewart. All Saints Pasadena is painfully aware of the unease with which we gather each week, sunlight artificially brighter than it should be through the all white cast of characters in glass.

Mark Steven Greenfield grew up Catholic, and walked away in his youth primarily for one reason: the unshakeable hypocrisy of the faith and the faithful. He didn't entertain showing this body of work in a sacred space, because in his words, "I'm not interested in revering the saints of the past, I'm only interested in contemporary saints, outside of the religious system". This place claims to recognize ALL saints. The biblical literalists can have their argument between St. Paul and St. James: is one saved by faith, or by works? We believe in the Halo on St. Solitude of Guadeloupe and St. Margaret Garner. The dead can have their faith; we need to continue the work. (Artworks shown to scale)

More info on the Halo work here: HALO

More info on the Black Madonna work here: BLACK MADONNA