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Author Topic: Schlock Icons  (Read 89241 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: November 10, 2012, 01:18:47 AM »

Every time I see an icon I think of purchasing, I think, "What would LBK do?", and I answer myself: "I don't know anything about icons, so how would I know?"... and then I close the browser window and sigh.  Cheesy Which is why I remain iconless. Wink But at least I don't have a Lentz special on my wall... Thank you, LBK!
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« Reply #91 on: November 10, 2012, 03:50:15 AM »

Quote
Every time I see an icon I think of purchasing, I think, "What would LBK do?"

*blush*

Quote
"I don't know anything about icons, so how would I know?"

Hang around long enough, and you'll learn plenty.  Wink And about good icons, too.  Smiley I'm not just about rubbishing schlock, though that's what I've become known for ...

Quote
But at least I don't have a Lentz special on my wall...

Good girl!  laugh
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« Reply #92 on: November 10, 2012, 10:25:43 AM »

Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow.

On the other hand, the basement church has very nice frescoes.
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« Reply #93 on: November 10, 2012, 12:23:46 PM »

I came across an interesting article in the July 2012 Orthodox Arts Journal, written by one Aidan Hart entitled: "Towards Indigenous and Mature Liturgical Arts." http://www.orthodoxartsjournal.org/towards-indigenous-and-mature-liturgical-arts/

Perhaps this has been referenced before, if so I apologize, but I am curious as to LBK's take on Hart's hypothesis: "We often hear it said that traditional Orthodox liturgical arts are reviving. But how far advanced is this revival, how mature is it, and what in fact are we reviving? In this article I would like to stimulate discussion by briefly considering three related subjects: indigenous iconography, maturity, and features of a healthy climate that would help produce better liturgical artists."

From my read of his article, he would reject the same 'schlock' referenced in this this thread, but he may be taking a somewhat broader view than does LBK?
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« Reply #94 on: November 10, 2012, 05:46:01 PM »

Quote
From my read of his article, he would reject the same 'schlock' referenced in this this thread, but he may be taking a somewhat broader view than does LBK?

Fr Aidan has, unfortunately, painted a couple of schlock pieces which I've long had on file. The danger with such images is that they are quite well-painted, and by an Orthodox hand:





As for "stylistic innovations", we need to look no further than Fr Stamatios Skliris and his acid-trip art to show how rampant individualism leads to serious schlock:

Prophet Elijah:


Apostle Andrew just before his martyrdom (I spoke about this one on the Luke Warmodox treead)


This one is supposed to be a visual version of the kontakion to the Mother of God "Champion Leader" (Ypermakho Stratigho)




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« Reply #95 on: November 10, 2012, 05:54:06 PM »

I don't have time to engage further on this topic right now, but I take it LBK does take issue with Fr. Aidan's hypothesis. I suspect he would take issue with her view of iconography. I am guessing he is not a poster here, but this has the makings of an interesting, and educational, discussion. I must confess that I do not know enough academically about the issue to have a valid opinion to articulate, but like many of us, I know what I 'like' and what I do not 'like.'  And, I think that much of what is being called 'schlock' here is really 'kitsch' - a subtle distinction but I think an important one.
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« Reply #96 on: November 10, 2012, 06:04:09 PM »

An iconographer is not a slave to artistic fashions which change constantly, he works in service, and under the direction of the Orthodox Church. Too often in recent years have people attempted to justify making aspects of Church life and practice "more relevant" to a "modern society". OK, then that means it's time we had rap music liturgies to encourage young people to turn up to church. Ridiculous? Of course it is! Christ and His Church are timeless and beyond time, "the same yesterday, today, and forever". Innovations, be they in liturgical practice, iconography, or other areas of Church life MUST be within the teachings and the Holy Tradition of the Church, and develop organically, not on an individual's whim or fancy.

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« Reply #97 on: November 10, 2012, 09:03:37 PM »

LBK, thanks for the explanation. And nice post above mine.

LOL @ "WWLBKD"? When it comes to buying icons. If she can get picture messages on her phone I could send her pictures of icons I want to see if they are canonical or not lol.

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« Reply #98 on: November 10, 2012, 10:09:22 PM »

LBK, thanks for the explanation. And nice post above mine.

LOL @ "WWLBKD"? When it comes to buying icons. If she can get picture messages on her phone I could send her pictures of icons I want to see if they are canonical or not lol.



I always just pm LBK when I wanna know what's what with an icon.
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« Reply #99 on: November 10, 2012, 10:58:52 PM »

As for "stylistic innovations", we need to look no further than Fr Stamatios Skliris and his acid-trip art to show how rampant individualism leads to serious schlock:

Apostle Andrew just before his martyrdom (I spoke about this one on the Luke Warmodox treead)


This one is supposed to be a visual version of the kontakion to the Mother of God "Champion Leader" (Ypermakho Stratigho)


Personally I do not understand the acid trip reference. At least from my somewhat knowledgeable but limited perspective. As noted in the cited thread that I do not understand (perhaps because it is about people like me from someone that I like), the upper icon is certainly influenced by van Gogh. I would ascribe the second icon to Marc Chagall, since it contains a floating female leaning towards the left.

When I start doing iconography I am going to stick with Archangel Michael and Gabriel for the the North and South doors using an Art Nouveau style. I think it works. I am, of course, assuming it would meet with your approval (you would have to see what I have in mind first since the style varies). Michael would look a little bit like Ginger Rogers and Gabriel a little bit like Fred Astaire as it would be a better combination than Brezhnev and Kosygin.

 
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« Reply #100 on: November 10, 2012, 11:36:56 PM »

Just got a free Catholic holy card with an image of St. John the Baptist on it by Lu Bro:



What are your thoughts on it?
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« Reply #101 on: November 10, 2012, 11:45:04 PM »

Looks like one of those creepy little "troll" dolls that were popular for a while a few decades ago.
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« Reply #102 on: November 11, 2012, 04:05:34 AM »

LBK, thanks for the explanation. And nice post above mine.

LOL @ "WWLBKD"? When it comes to buying icons. If she can get picture messages on her phone I could send her pictures of icons I want to see if they are canonical or not lol.

Emailing them to me is fine, Achronos. Like William said.  Smiley
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« Reply #103 on: November 11, 2012, 04:14:02 AM »

Just got a free Catholic holy card with an image of St. John the Baptist on it by Lu Bro:



What are your thoughts on it?

Nothing at all wrong with its content, though the workmanship is rather rough. But it would be infinitely better to venerate an icon painted by this less-than-skilled hand, than, say, the Fr Stamatios Skliris stuff, or a well-painted but heretical Robert Lentz piece.
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« Reply #104 on: November 11, 2012, 05:06:22 AM »

Another work by the good Father. Wonder what he was on at the time ....



Anyone remember those groovy black velvet wall hangings printed with scenes in Day-Glo colors, which were lit with "black light" for maximum effect?
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« Reply #105 on: November 11, 2012, 05:07:37 AM »

What is this icon about?

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« Reply #106 on: November 11, 2012, 05:20:19 AM »

It's of the Italian master painter of the early Renaissance, Fra Angelico, painted by the Jesuit William Hart McNichols.
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« Reply #107 on: November 16, 2012, 11:54:25 AM »

I am locking this subject as a precautionary measure; just received a report that malware may have been inserted into the page. Thanks, Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #108 on: November 17, 2012, 11:47:44 AM »

We seem to be OK. I am unlocking the thread. Thanks to the alert forum member who reported the problem. Carl Kraeff
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« Reply #109 on: November 17, 2012, 12:47:21 PM »

So would this be considered schlock? It's a "Young Virgin Mary."

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« Reply #110 on: November 17, 2012, 01:34:08 PM »

Just for LBK:

An icon of a non-Orthodox saint holding a statue of St. Joseph holding the child Christ.



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« Reply #111 on: November 17, 2012, 02:16:14 PM »

So would this be considered schlock? It's a "Young Virgin Mary."



Worst and scariest thing I've seen in this thread. These eyes.
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« Reply #112 on: November 17, 2012, 02:18:08 PM »

Just for LBK:

An icon of a non-Orthodox saint holding a statue of St. Joseph holding the child Christ.





Better still, a Monastery icon of a non-Orthodox saint holding a statue of St. Joseph holding the child Christ.
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« Reply #113 on: November 17, 2012, 02:23:08 PM »

Just for LBK:

An icon of a non-Orthodox saint holding a statue of St. Joseph holding the child Christ.





LOL!
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« Reply #114 on: November 17, 2012, 02:33:36 PM »

What do you think of these:









There's a difference between "rustic but powerful and moving", and "badly painted, with little sense of draftsmanship, which does little to evoke a prayerful attitude, but is more reminiscent of folk art".

Having said that, the one which is just passable is the last one of the female saint; the blue halo around the bishop-saint makes no sense at all (if gold is unavailable, then a pale color reminiscent of light can be chosen - the artist used a golden shde for the crosses on the omophorion, so why didn't he use the same in the halo?); and the Resurrection leaves out a lot of important theological detail, not even showing Christ pulling Adam out of the grave, surely a glaring omission in even a minimalist composition like this.

I wouldn't say the are "badly painted". The resolution and quality of the images is really bad. Here are two more works of the same man in better quality:





and here is "less minimalistic" Anastasis:



I can agree he sometimes had "strange" usage of colours.
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« Reply #115 on: November 17, 2012, 02:52:58 PM »

Another schlock Icon:

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« Reply #116 on: November 17, 2012, 03:02:40 PM »



Weird, but maybe not schlock...
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« Reply #117 on: November 17, 2012, 03:20:31 PM »

I have a copy of the Trinity icon. The bad one with the Three Persons depicted separately. I'm getting rid of it, though.
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« Reply #118 on: November 17, 2012, 03:57:11 PM »

I have a copy of the Trinity icon. The bad one with the Three Persons depicted separately. I'm getting rid of it, though.

Which one? I'd take it if you weren't in Florida... Wink
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« Reply #119 on: November 17, 2012, 04:25:51 PM »

I have a copy of the Trinity icon. The bad one with the Three Persons depicted separately. I'm getting rid of it, though.

Which one? I'd take it if you weren't in Florida... Wink



This one.
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« Reply #120 on: November 17, 2012, 08:25:09 PM »

So would this be considered schlock? It's a "Young Virgin Mary."



It's certainly not canonical.

The title of this image is Mother of God at three years of age. Orthodox tradition celebrates the three-year-old child of Joachim and Anna entering the Temple, including the Holy of Holies, to be prepared for the awesome and incomprehensible task of conceiving and bearing the Son of God.

However, the following should be considered:

The young Virgin is consistently shown in Orthodox icons, including in icons of the Entry into the Temple, as a miniature adult, in a blue tunic covered by a red maphorion (cloak) bearing the three stars of perpetual virginity. There are many icons of her nativity which show her, newborn, in her crib, not as a babe in swaddling-clothes, which is, in itself, quite proper, but dressed in a maphorion, and bearing the three stars of perpetual virginity. This is quite consistent with the iconographic and hymnographic principle where linear time is not necessarily followed; the liturgical “today”, as it were, as well as being consistent with the hymnography and dogma of the Church.

By contrast, the portrayal of a bare-headed, sweet little girl in a blue tunic holding lilies is an image not from Orthodox tradition, but a saccharine, sentimental image from elsewhere, an attempt to make the Virgin “easier to relate to”. This sentimentalizing and humanizing tendency is frequently seen in western religious art. The intention is honourable, but it can result in an unfortunate “dumbing down” of the holy and sacred. Iconography concerns itself with what has been revealed, and with helping us conform ourselves to the will of God, not with pious sentiment or "what feels right".
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« Reply #121 on: November 17, 2012, 08:29:40 PM »

Just for LBK:

An icon of a non-Orthodox saint holding a statue of St. Joseph holding the child Christ.





LOL!

Oh, this is just so memorably BAAAD! More proof (if any was needed) that the originals made by Monastery Icons are not painted, but made entirely by Photoshop.  Shocked laugh Love the sour smile on the saint's face ....  Tongue
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« Reply #122 on: November 18, 2012, 12:17:03 AM »

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« Reply #123 on: November 18, 2012, 12:35:38 AM »



Oh, lovely. Beautiful workmanship, but oh, so wrong!

Like the infamous Ark of Salvation image, what is objectionable about this image is the section in the lower right corner, where the enemies of God are depicted in quite specific ways, such as the Moslem wearing a turban, and the triple tiara of the Roman Catholic pope. Here's a critique of the "ark of salvation" image from a while back, it is relevant to the image William has posted:

Quote
No, that "icon" should not be venerated. It is simply a polemical propaganda piece, promoting a particular ecclesiopolitical ideology. Some food for thought:

Iconography is, above all else, concerned with the revelation of God in Trinity: of the incarnation of the Son and Word of God which has allowed the sanctification of fallen creation (matter), including humanity (made in the image of God)**; of the signs and wonders of the Divine revelation in both the Old and New Testament periods; and, in its portrayal of the saints, their transfiguration from mere men and women into those who have attained deification, a "oneness with God" and full participation of the heavenly life with God and in God, through the conduct of their earthly lives and their steadfast witness to the true faith. They have become true icons and reflections of the Divine. The word godly is most apt to describe them.

(** St John of Damascus sums this up beautifully: "Of old, the incorporeal and uncircumscribed God was not depicted at all. But now that God has appeared in the flesh and lived among men, I make an image of God who can be seen. I do not worship matter, but I worship the Creator of matter, who through matter effected my salvation. I will not cease to venerate the matter through which my salvation has been effected.")

Secondly, in the same way that the saints have obliterated their passions to give themselves completely to God, icons must also reflect this dispassionate quality. Obvious displays of human emotions, even a “positive” one such as laughter, are considered to be manifestations of human passion, and therefore have no place in iconography. Christ’s kingdom is “not of this world” (John 18: 36), therefore the portrayal of saints in their spiritually transformed state must be dispassionate. This also applies to church singing and reading; the singers and readers are there to glorify God and serve the church by their efforts, not to self-aggrandize. Even the display of sorrow in the face of a saint or the Mother of God should be kept subtle, with the emotion conveyed with the eyes, not through histrionics.

Thirdly, there must be complete agreement between scripture, liturgical content (which represents the distillation of the doctrinal, dogmatic and theological position of the Church), and the pictorial content of an icon for any icon to be deemed canonical.

Hence there is no place for ugliness, anger, enmity, and other negative emotions in iconography. The purpose of an icon is to draw us closer to God. Of course, there are specific examples of didactic icons, such as Last Judgement and Ladder of Divine Ascent which feature fearsome dragon-like creatures swallowing unrepentant evildoers. The Resurrection icon shows the personification of sin and death bound in chains in the abyss. It may be said, therefore, if there is room for such portrayals in these canonical icons, then why object to the presence of the figures in this Ark of Salvation image?

I offer this reply: An icon is a material, tangible expression of the incarnate God. The iconographic portrayal of the saints as icons of Christ, then, should reflect the sanctity, dispassion and boundless compassionate mercy of Christ to those who repent of their sins. Do we not pray to the saints and the Mother of God to intercede on our behalf? Are we not exhorted to pray for our enemies, to love them, and not to hate them? Of all scripture passages on this theme, Matt. 5: 43-48 is perhaps the most useful and succinct:

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

We are also assured that God is Love, and that His love and mercy are available to all who seek Him in true faith. There are petitions in various Orthodox litanies which ask for the repentance and return to the true faith of sinners, apostates, and, yes, enemies. One which immediately comes to mind is "Let us pray for those who love us, and those who hate us", a petition in the litany sung towards the end of the Great Compline services of Great Lent where the Canon of St Andrew of Crete is sung.

There is the question of the iconographic portrayal of prophets and saints who denounced kings and princes. Such scenes are found in the smaller panels of a "life" icon of a saint or prophet (an icon which has a large central panel of the saint or prophet, surrounded by a series of smaller panels showing scenes of his or her life). Keeping to the dispassionate nature of icons, these scenes of rebuke of kings and princes (such as in icons of Prophet Elijah, and any number of OT and NT saints and righteous ones) show the saint standing before the errant ruler with a hand raised in rebuke, but nothing more. It is also significant that such scenes, almost without exception, are never used as icons in their own right.

It is not surprising that certain schismatic groups have favored this so-called Ark of Salvation image as it reflects their particular ideology. This image suggests that those who are not Orthodox are somehow beyond repentance and redemption. Can we really agree with this as Orthodox Christians? The persecuting Pharisee Saul openly boasted of his zeal and success in persecuting Christians, yet, by the grace of God, became one of the Princes of the Apostles, a pillar of Orthodoxy. There are also innumerable converts to the Orthodox faith who have come from every religious background imaginable, including atheism, paganism and communism; many who have become saints, in times of old, and in our present day. The grace of God knows no bounds.

Iconography, as I have said before, must never be used for political or ideological purposes. To portray the non-Orthodox as a whole as being irredeemable and in league with demonic and evil forces to destroy Orthodoxy is a shameful debasement of iconography. I am reminded of a reply to a convert to Orthodoxy as to how he came to the conclusion that the Orthodox faith was the true faith: "The Soviet Union was capable of destroying anything. Yet, despite its immense power and resources, it could not destroy the Orthodox Church. So that was good enough for me." The gates of hell cannot prevail, indeed ...

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,11209.msg297730.html#msg297730

There is a place in Orthodox tradition for didactic (teaching a moral lesson) images, made to teach a moral lesson, rather than than being intended for veneration. The walls of monastery churches and refectories often feature such images. If the image William posted showed the unrepentant sinners in more generic form, as is seen in proper icons of the Last Judgement or the Ladder of Divine Ascent, then it would have been acceptable as a didactic image. Instead, the portrayal of the enemies of God as seen here pushes this image into sociopolitical commentary, something iconography is implacably opposed to.

It is also possible that the iconographer painted this image in honest ignorance of the implications of the offending section, likely because he had seen such erroneous imagery elsewhere, and simply copied it. All the more reason for every iconographer to be on the ball as to what should and should not be painted.
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« Reply #124 on: November 18, 2012, 01:51:07 PM »

What about this?
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« Reply #125 on: November 18, 2012, 03:43:35 PM »

What is that? ^
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« Reply #126 on: November 18, 2012, 11:59:28 PM »

What is that? ^

A place where I would want to live without further information.
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« Reply #127 on: November 20, 2012, 01:46:41 AM »

Here to ruin your day!





























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« Reply #128 on: November 20, 2012, 02:03:50 AM »

And Nephi wins the thread.
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« Reply #129 on: November 20, 2012, 03:14:06 AM »



Anyone remember the film The Greatest Story Ever Told? It had a big-name cast, and grand and noble intentions (Telly Savalas as Pontius Pilate was hard-boiled but fair, and Donald Pleasance a suitably creepy Satan), but was a heroic failure in the hopeless miscasting of Max von Sydow as Jesus (aloof, too old, too wooden), and John Wayne as the centurion at the foot of the cross (he utters only a single line, but he singlehandedly torpedoes the whole picture). Film critics and film historians alike have failed for the better part of 50 years to solve the mystery of why the Duke was chosen for the part.

This Jesus looks alarmingly like how Mr von Sydow looked in the film.
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« Reply #130 on: November 23, 2012, 02:45:58 PM »



This isn't even my final form!
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« Reply #131 on: November 23, 2012, 05:41:01 PM »

This isn't even my final form!

Good call!
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #132 on: November 24, 2012, 02:38:57 AM »

Also, are the three Persons emanating from the Tetragrammaton? Modalism and name worship all in one icon!
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if Christ does and says x. And someone else does and says not x and you are ever in doubt, follow Christ.
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« Reply #133 on: November 24, 2012, 05:50:19 AM »

The hallmark of a great religion is the ability to poke fun at it.
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« Reply #134 on: November 24, 2012, 11:01:22 AM »

A seasonal favorite:



Not trying to be an actual icon, but as the kids say there's loads of fail in this one.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2012, 11:02:17 AM by Agabus » Logged

Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

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