Ruach Hakodesh: The Epiphanic and Cosmic Nature of Imagination in the Art of Michael Jackson and His Influence on My Image-Making
Rich and layered are the meanings surrounding the concept of Ruach Hakodesh. The book of Genesis describes a “rushing spirit of God over the face of the waters.” A brooding and hovering wind, the animating breath of the cosmos, a Divinely disruptive force of inspiration and imagination are but a few possible flavors of poetic exegesis. In many cultures, dance is considered a sacred link between the realm of the Divine and ordinary life. When contemplating these thoughts, I am entrained by both the scriptural and poetic interpretations of Ruach Hakodesh and how they may relate to the multifaceted creative imagination of artist and performer, Michael Jackson. From my perspective as a visual artist, I offer reflections on Jackson’s archetypal gestures, his performance art aesthetic, and the unconventional religious witness inherent in his creative process. For decades my art has been devoted to the expression of spiritual experience through allegorical figuration. Within that context, I also share images that were directly informed by the epiphanic and cosmic nature of the art of Michael Jackson.
KeywordsPopular culture Performance studies/Dance/Music Visual culture/20th century Contemporary art/Works on paper Arts and spirituality (unconventional religious witness) Michael Jackson
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