July 25 th 2008

I wanted to create a painting that confronts the lack of faith and doubt that I constantly encounter in my spiritual journey, hoping to communicate to the viewer that we all share a common bond of struggling with answers to the great questions of life. For the imagery, I looked back to the Old Testament story of Jacob wrestling with the Angel, depicted throughout history by artists such as Rembrant van Rijn, Eugene Delacroix, and Paul Gauguin.

In my painting, I am the one wrestling with the angel, wrestling needlessly with a God who has redeemed a world that seems irredeemable. The muzzled lion is a reference to Hebrews 11:33, where Paul describes people throughout the Bible who "through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, . . . (and) who shut the mouths of lions." The image of the fetus in the corner depicts my coming face-to-face with the next great leap of faith in my spiritual journey—having children.

Topics: Arts

Matthew Whitney is a Seattle-based artist, working primarily in oil paints. He received his BA in Art from Whitworth University in Spokane, WA, and exhibits his paintings throughout the Pacific Northwest. Using expressionistic imagery, he works with spiritual and religious themes, stemming from his own beliefs but also encouraging the viewer to create unique connections between the work and their own personal experience.