Why on Earth Does God Have to Paint?

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9780970404282: Why on Earth Does God Have to Paint?

Why on Earth Does God Have to Paint? /Centripetal Art
by RAFAEL CHODOS
Based on Selected Works and Writings of JUNKO CHODOS
A book that shows how art can move from the soul of the artist to the soul of the viewer.
As a young child living through the Allied bombings of Japan in World War II, Junko painted secretly, passionately, in bomb shelters and other hiding places. For years she viewed her art as something dark and ugly, something to hide from the world. But out of the blue when she was in her early thirties, during a desperate time just after she had moved to America, a spiritual teacher in Japan whom she had never met told a friend of hers that he had seen her art psychically, and that God was painting through her. When Junko heard this she gasped and whispered, Why on earth does God have to paint?

As she contemplated this question, Junko reached the realization that the darkest thing can become a source of radiant light and that art can reveal the mystery of this transformation. In this way she arrived at a new conception of art which she named Centripetal Art. The artist journeys towards her center in order to encounter divine presence there. The artwork is the trace on paper of her journey and of her struggle to transcend her personal fears and traumas. Creating art is a process of individuation. If the artist s struggle is successful, then the viewer can participate in it and take steps on a journey of his own. This is the power of art, and its gift.

This book is the story of Junko s journey told by her husband of nearly forty years. It includes an analysis of her powerful body of over a thousand works and shows how Centripetal Art can raise the consciousness of individual viewers. This new kind of art gives the viewer the courage and the hope to confront darkness his own darkness and darkness in the world and to go beyond it, and beyond complacency, orthodoxy, dogma, ethnicity, race, and gender. This book is also the inner story of Rafael and Junko s intercultural marriage and of their shared spiritual striving.

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About the Author:

Rafael Chodos is a lawyer who has been in solo practice for over thirty years handling sophisticated business litigation and transactional work. He describes the law as "society's on-going quest for integrity in interpersonal affairs," and has lectured and written often on this topic.
Mr. Chodos has lectured at graduate university seminars, and has published in respected collections of essays on biblical scholarship. His essays include a recently published analysis of The Book of Job as a multicultural case report (in Probing the Frontiers of Biblical Studies, in the Princeton Theological Monograph Series, Wipf & Stock, 2009); an essay titled "The Cry of Eden" which presents an original analysis of that story in the Book of Genesis (in vol. 1 of the series, Presenting the Past published by Brill/ Leiden, Boston, 2008); and an essay titled, "God Does Not Require Obedience: He Abhors It" in volume 4 of a collection of essays titled The Destructive Power of Religion (Praeger, Dec. 2003) . His first book, The Jewish Attitude Towards Justice and Law (dist. E.J. Brill, 1984), was the beginning of his effort to find a deep integration of his interests in law and religion.
Rafael grew up in a household full of books and music: his father was a prominent rabbi who taught him Hebrew. He studied Latin in high school, and taught himself classical Greek after completing the Latin curriculum several months ahead of schedule. He left his family home at the age of sixteen and earned his way through college and graduate school teaching those classical languages. But on the way he pursued entirely different kinds of adventures: he worked as a halibut fisherman in Alaska and stood guard on deck with a rifle to ward off pirates; he was a construction worker for a while in Alaska and Oregon. Through his marriage to his second wife, Junko, a Japanese-born painter and visual artist who has exhibited in one-person shows in galleries and museums, he learned about the visual arts. In the 1990s he lectured on "Masculine and Feminine Aspects of Art and Law" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; and in 2001 he published an award-winning catalog of his wife's art, Metamorphoses: The Transformative Vision of Junko Chodos. Mr. Chodos has produced a short film featuring her art (Cry of Ecstasy, 2005) and he composed the music for some short animations he produced in 2007 and 2008, featuring her art. Furthering his effort to integrate art and religion, in 2008, Mr. Chodos published a stunning e-Book titled Centripetal Art/ Matrix of Growth and in 2009, he published a spinoff, print version. He is the author of many essays and short stories, some of which can now be found on Amazon's Kindle.
In 2005 and 2006, Mr. Chodos hosted a radio talk show in Phoenix, Arizona, titled "The No Small Talk Show." In 2008, he was invited to design and then teach a course on "Law, Ethics, and the Enterprise" at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley (1964). After college he worked for IBM as a programming trainee and spent fifteen years in the then-fledgling computer software field. He founded and operated a computer firm in the 1970s (long before the days of the personal computer) that developed expert systems using artificial intelligence techniques to design very large telecommunications networks. He retains a strong interest in computing. His website: chodos.com

Review:

At a time when the world seems almost upside down, it is time to look within, to rediscover basic truths and to rebuild based on learning and a recommitment to fundamental values. If we approach management as a liberal art, seeking insight and wisdom not only in balance sheets and profits but in principles and purpose, we may see a light that shines a path to recovery and renewal and even a new way forward. In a similar vein, Centripetal Art brushes back to basics and seeks truth through a painful but redemptive journey within. --Ira A. Jackson, Dean and Professor of Management, Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, Claremont Graduate University.

This book is a powerful read: it defies genre classification...challenging, troubling, and disturbing, with flashes of illumination and the breakthrough of transcendence. The passages about how cultures become fluid and meld and transform each other in the furnace of marriage with the intensity of demands for integrity, send back reports from a frontier that we all need to understand. --Karen Torjesen, Dean, School of Religion, Claremont Graduate University, Author of When Women Were Priests

From her solitary artistic endeavors as a child in wartime Japan to the powerful mature works featured in this unique monograph, Junko Chodos has tenaciously pursued a highly imaginative artistic course that exemplifies both C.G. Jung s descriptions of the individuation process and the prophetic role of the artist and shaman in divining nascent developments in the collective psyche. The individual art works here and the frequently extended series in which they evolve clearly mirror the life of dreams, demonstrate (with key studio journal excerpts) the essential role of active imagination in the creation of consciousness, and point toward a transcendental organizing principle at the very center of Centripetal Art. Rafael Chodos text is both insightful and modest. The artist s intuitive perception, Buddhist penchant for gleaning compassion from suffering, and her capacity to convey universal truths in vivid aesthetic images will only bolster our contemporary survival imperative to move beyond nationalism, ethnicity, and the bonds of ossified religious creeds to a radical period of individual insight and the joyful tending of Life. --Bradley A. Te Paske, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst, Author of Sexuality and the Religious Imagination

This marvelous book gives us an account of the spiritual, intellectual and artistic development of Junko Chodos, further illuminated by the commentary of her husband, Rafael. She is an artist like no other, delving into the depths of her own history, traumas and unconscious and returning from this inward journey to create works of enormous emotional and psychological power. The reader is in for a rare treat: not only the brilliant works themselves, but insights into the process of their creation. Louis Breger, Ph.D., Founding President, Institute of Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, Author of Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision/// --Peter Selz, Professor Emeritus of Art History, University of California-Berkeley. Editor, Art as Engagemen

From her solitary artistic endeavors as a child in wartime --Jacquelin Pilar, Curator, Fresno Art Museum

Superb art and astonishingly beautiful and lively reading. Never mind that husband is writing about wife: I was spellbound by the contents. In the age of new realism the bubbles have gone it is the time when humanism, art of this kind, and social responsibility rooted in art, will replace for the new generation the lost dubious ideal of going to Wall Street. -- --Yehuda Elkana, President and Rector Emeritus, Central European University, Budapest, and Art Collector.
--Bradley A. Te Paske, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst, Author of Sexuality and the Religious Imagination

See the review by Peter Gimpel at redheiferpress.com --Peter Gimpel, Red Heifer Press

From her solitary artistic endeavors as a child in wartime Japan to the powerful mature works featured in this unique monograph, Junko Chodos has tenaciously pursued a highly imaginative artistic course that exemplifies both C.G. Jung s descriptions of the individuation process and the prophetic role of the artist and shaman in divining nascent developments in the collective psyche. The individual art works here and the frequently extended series in which they evolve clearly mirror the life of dreams, demonstrate (with key studio journal excerpts) the essential role of active imagination in the creation of consciousness, and point toward a transcendental organizing principle at the very center of Centripetal Art. Rafael Chodos text is both insightful and modest. The artist s intuitive perception, Buddhist penchant for gleaning compassion from suffering, and her capacity to convey universal truths in vivid aesthetic images will only bolster our contemporary survival imperative to move beyond nationalism, ethnicity, and the bonds of ossified religious creeds to a radical period of individual insight and the joyful tending of Life. --Bradley A. Te Paske, Ph.D., Jungian Analyst, Author of Sexuality and the Religious Imagination

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