The invasion of Ukraine has been catastrophic. Heart-wrenching stories emerge as ordinary citizens become victims of brutal acts of terror. Artist Danylo Movchan works from the relative safety of Lviv, in western Ukraine, where he resides with his family. His works are usually carefully executed, elegant, modern icons in egg tempera in the Byzantine tradition. But almost immediately after the war began, Movchan lost his equilibrium in the studio and broke from this routine.
The serene saints of Egyptian Coptic Orthodox art are markedly different in face and form from the austere holy men and women of more familiar Byzantine images. Trained in art in her native Cairo, Rania Kuhn makes contemporary icons in the Coptic style in France, mindful of the artistic traditions of her ancient Middle Eastern faith community. The Coptic artist’s figures have large eyes, open to find faith, small mouths to hold in hurtful words, small ears to hear no evil, and faces suffused with joy.