Nikola Saric

Thanks to the miracle of Google Images, I stumbled upon the work of Nikola Saric. A young Serbian artist living in Germany, his modern iconography is gripping and insightful. His website is definitely worth a look.

I especially appreciate his icon for today's Gospel at mass, the parable of the unforgiving servant from Matthew 18.21-35. 


Mr. Saric makes the spiritual point clear: if we refuse to forgive others, we will not be free from the sinister grip of Satan. Note the posture of the man who owed little. His hands are open in a posture of supplication. The man who owed much (and was initially forgiven) has his hands stingily around his neck, as tight as the dark hand which prepares to pull him into outer darkness. The outer darkness is the destiny for those who give permission for the inner darkness to persist.

I'm also fond of the icon for the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16.19-31). 


The story of this parable is well-known. Lazarus is a poor man who begged at the gate and was covered in sores, which the dogs licked. The Rich Man lived in luxury and ignored Lazarus at his gate. When they both died, Lazarus rested in the bosom of Abraham (lower left panel). The Rich Man was in Hades where he was tormented. There is a door with a lock in the upper panels, reminding us that the Rich Man and Lazaurs were next to each other in life. In fact, Lazarus was outside his door. The Rich Man could have opened the door and removed the chasm between them. Yet in death, there is no door and no key. Lazarus cannot open the door and remove the chasm between them.