Mark Steven Greenfield at All Saints Church Pasadena: Halo's and the Black Madonna

Proposed Dates: July 2nd - August 6th, 2023

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". In hosting this exhibition, All Saints Church Pasadena is reminded of the power of the word ALL in its name. There are saints outside of the religious canon. There are heroes of the faith who don't usually get cemented in colored glass. Faith is more than a set of beliefs. 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. Faith is perseverance in the face of adversity. Faith is bold action toward a liberating future. Faith crosses all boundaries and finds allies in the struggle to assert our humanity.

By bringing contemporary art into the inner Sanctuary, we are making a bold statement about our commitment to the visionaries and mystics of our own day, in our local community. We temporarily disrupt the static nature of the one hundred year old architecture and iconography, in order to remind ourselves of the evolving nature of faith and beloved community. The Sanctuary is a weekly site of engagement, of intentional commitment to each other, and it provides context for the contestation of our lives: not just telling the stories of our past and faith heritage, but re-performing them, as if they are a script that has yet to be fully realized. Sometimes the most radical story one can tell is a story that has been forgotten, suppressed, and/or co-opted by the empire. Greenfield inspires us to remember the past, take stock of our present, reimagine our futures.

(Artworks shown to scale)

More info on the Halo work here: HALO

More info on the Black Madonna work here: BLACK MADONNA