Just for understanding: Why exactly do you think these pictures cannot be considered icons?
The artist who has painted these images openly proclaims his wish to "bring iconography closer to modern art" to "make it more relevant" to present-day Orthodox, hence his adoption of impressionism and other artistic styles in his work. He also imposes his own creative interpretation on the subject matter of the "icon" he paints. The resulting paintings are not faithful to what the Church teaches and proclaims, and, therefore, cannot be considered to be icons suitable for veneration.
Some brief comments on these images:
On the Resurrection image:
In proper Resurrection icons, Christ is shown rising from Hades, pulling Adam and Eve from their graves. Standing on one side of Him are St John the Baptist, and the Old Testament prophets and righteous ones. On the other side are those who have come to know Christ through Him and His Apostles and their successors, i.e. the people of the Church of the New Testament period.
What do we see in this “icon”? Adam and Eve are recognizable, but the other haloed figures are generic, with no reference as to who they represent. And what are we to make of all the disembodied heads and the flocks of birds in the sky? What is their significance? Which are the scriptural and liturgical references corresponding to these motifs?
It bears repeating that an iconographer works as an instrument of the Church, the works of his hands rightly proclaiming the word of God’s truth. He is not an artist who has the luxury of giving free rein to his creative impulses. No-one, let alone an Orthodox priest, and one who has been called “an authority on iconography” has the right to strip out so much meaning and doctrine from any icon in order to indulge in fantasies of reinterpretation. This mangling of the icon of the Resurrection, the Feast of Feasts, deserves the strongest condemnation. This is no mistake made in honest ignorance. What on earth possessed this man to paint such an image and presume to call it an icon? It is the pictorial equivalent of taking creative liberties with Orthodox hymnography.
There have been instances of Roman Catholic priests performing baptisms in the name of the Creator, Liberator and Sustainer, instead of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in an attempt to "modernize" the ceremony. Such baptisms have been investigated to determine the sacramental validity or otherwise of these baptisms. The ruling from the Vatican was that these baptisms had to be “regularised” using the correct Trinitarian formula. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Orthodox position on such baptisms would be exactly the same.
As it is improper to alter the words of liturgy or sacrament without ecclesiastical approval, so it is also for iconographers to allow “innovation” on the basis of political correctness or artistic licence. Hymnography and iconography are not artistic playthings. The hymnographer’s pen and the iconographer’s paintbrush must be picked up with humility, fear and trembling.
On the St Andrew image:
This painting brings to mind Vincent Van Gough's self-portraits during his more tormented periods. There is no stillness or spiritual calm here, nor does it express the Apostle's Christ-like acceptance of his impending death as a martyr as any good icon should, notably those of Christ's crucifixion, the supreme exemplar of selfless and willing sacrifice. Instead, we see a man engulfed in a whirl of gloom, turmoil and fear. There will be no victory in this Apostle's death, all the more ironic, as the hymnography for the saint is full of references to his bravery, andreia
(courage, bravery, manliness) being the source of the name Andreas
. The first-called apostle was known to have said: "if I feared the cross, I would not be preaching it". He truly lived up to his name. This painting speaks of just the opposite.
These paintings are an outrageous travesty, and the painter should be ashamed of himself.