Click Here to close this window and return to the Gallery.

Metanoia, 1994
Oil on canvas, 84 x 50

Metanoia: repentance, to change one’s mind or purpose, a turning from sin or evil to God.

In this symbolic work the artist utilizes objects that have current or traditional associations to represent a family of individuals turning from sin to God. They are turning from the darkness that lies behind them toward the light that shines ahead. On the wall are sculpture and objects that delineate various aspects of the kingdom of darkness under the dominion of Satan, the dragon.

The mask represents psychology when it leads people away from God toward counterfeit spirituality. Behind it is carved authadès, the Greek word meaning self-absorbed or self-willed. To the right of the mask is the Egyptian hieroglyph for “all” beneath the signs of “life” (ankh) and “dominion.” The ancient zodiacal sign for Taurus, the Bull, is next to this. Above these, on top of the wall, are a pot of impatiens, New-Age pyramids, books by false cults and secret societies and a money card for the coming one-world economic system. The symbols continue to the right of the figure: homosexuality’s inverted pyramid, the worship of sun, moon and stars, and the Satanic pentagram, through which runs a crack in the wall signifying the ultimate destruction of Satan and his kingdom. Barely noticeable to the right is the beginning of the Greek word generally used for sexual sin: porneia. On the wall above them is a book on Eastern religions, votive candles, incense and flowers. Flying toward the candle to its death is a moth, symbol of corruption. Hexagrams, the most powerful of occult symbols, are carved into the base of the columns.

Turning from these are a husband, wife and young child. The wife is clothed in red-violet, symbolic of the mixture of humility (violet) and love (red) she shows in putting herself under the loving authority of God and her husband, both of whom she acknowledges by her open, outstretched hand. With her other hand she enfolds and nurtures her child, who is clothed in white, signifying that righteousness is imputed through childlike trust in the gospel of Christ. The flowers in their hair are symbols of purity (white), humility (violet) and love (red).

The husband’s relaxed, right hand (of fellowship) is raised in praise to God and represents his new nature. His flexed left hand, representing his old, sinful nature, is clenched around an apple, the painting’s most significant symbol. The apple personifies Adam, through whom sin entered the world, and Christ, through Whom righteousness entered the world. The lightning of God’s judgment falls upon Adam (and through him humankind) and upon Christ, Who became sin in behalf of Adam’s descendants who would believe in Him.

The silver container represents the Word of God. The lion is Christ, to Whom it bears witness. Pomegranates are a symbol of the church, its many sins (seeds) covered by the blood of Christ (red skin). The grain and grapes are traditional symbols of communion. Butterflies, symbolic of metamorphosis or permanent change, represent the reality of resurrection and eternal life in Christ that have overcome the sin and death of this present world.

Copyright 2009 by Stephen Gjertson. All rights reserved. No part of this website, including scans of artwork, text and essays, may be reproduced or transferred to other websites, in whole or in part, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), without getting written permission from, and paying compensatory fees to, the artist. Such permission may be gained by writing

Website design and construction by Scott Hayne  Powered by WordPress · Atahualpa Theme by BytesForAll