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"Revolutionary, a whole universe in itself..."
What early readers are saying about this book
Fascinating ... Deep ... Powerful ... Honest ... Intense ... Original ... Authentic!
A fascinating tangle of important themes
Spirituality, mysticism, marriage, multiculturalism, psychology, existentialism ... all of them are discussed in this book.

Look at the selections under the drop-down menu above: wherever you look you will find something deep, shimmering, something that draws you further into the tangle.

The more you read, the more you will want to read, and the more you will want to look at the powerful artworks, and the more you will want to think!
A whole list of FIRSTS!
This 350-page eBOOK is a FIRST in many ways: It is the FIRST serious art book to talk about the deeper, richer possibilities of art in the period after the postmodern. It is the FIRST serious art book to weave together the serious themes it treats: religion, mysticism, psychology, art criticism, philosophy. It is the FIRST serious art book to study the art of one artist in "layers": the Surface layers, then the Deeper layers. It is the FIRST serious art book to be published electronically BEFORE it is published in print.
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Browse a representative selection of pages from the book
Page through this short form of the book. Read the PREFACE, and then browse the Table of Contents which is reproduced in full right afterward. click here
Art, Spirituality, and Religion
What is the difference between "religion" and "spirituality"? It is that religion is associated with an authority structure, while spirituality is not. In the case of western religions, the authority structure started out being the state itself: the temple states of the ancient near east, and the Church as it rose out of the ashes of the Roman Empire. And western religions are all attached to sacred texts and dogmas.

The whole point of "spirituality" is that it rejects authority structures. This puts it in danger of becoming cheap and low quality. While "religion" tends to be inherently aligned with the past, "spirituality" is not: its relationship with history is quite different, because it gives greater importance to the present and to the future.

Art has made a progression of its own over the course of its history away from authority structures, towards something else. Centripetal Art is a kind of spiritual art, but it is very conscious of history. It is anti-authoritative, but it has the courage to believe in universal values which appeal to viewers of different cultures and backgrounds. READ MORE
Art and Multiculturalism
Is it really possible for art to transcend cultural boundaries? As the world becomes progressively globalized, individual artists absorb and reflect influences from more than one culture. But there is a big difference between studying the influences on a particular artist and studying the impact that artist's work has on viewers from different cultures.

The Centripetal Art of JUNKO CHODOS reflects profound Japanese and European influences. But her art is created in the belief that the most personal thing can become the most universal.

Look at the book, and see if you agree! READ MORE
The book is about the art of JUNKO CHODOS, and the author is her husband of nearly 40 years, RAFAEL CHODOS. The book imbeds its discussion in a (deliberately) fragmentary narrative of their marriage. At first Rafael had no interest in art at all but as his love for Junko grew deeper, he was drawn into her world and learned about art.

Junko's art has never been something separate from her life: from her earliest childhood, her art has been a search for her own center, and for her own truth. Junko's passionate commitment to this search is what made Rafael fall in love with her.

Even though Rafael's own interests lay elsewhere when they met, their marriage became a shared search and this book is the story of that search. READ MORE
What is the story of a human life? What is the path of growth?

Different answers have been given to this question by different groups at different times in human history. The ancient Egyptians believed that people lived to work and live ethically, and that at the end of their lives the soul came before Osiris to be weighed in the scale of justice: on one side of the scale Osiris placed the feather of Ma'at, Truth, and on the other side he placed the soul. If the soul had accumulated too much dust and debris during its time on earth, it would weigh more than the feather of Truth and so it would not be able to pass into Lightland. Thoth stood by and recorded each judgment for eternity. This notion of "Judgment Day" was adopted by the early Christians and then by Judaism in the rabbinic era.

A different kind of answer is given by Buddhist teaching: man is born and reborn in the cycle of karma, repaying in this life the debts accumulated during the last life, born and reborn in darkness, dying and dying in darkness, until the soul no longer has a need to be born again and then it passes into Nirvana -- unless it chooses to return to this world to help others, as a Boddhisatva. This view, developed in India in the 5th Century BC, found its way into the Jewish mysticism of Safed, in the 16th Century.

Shallower answers to the deep question have been suggested: "Man is born, suffers, and dies!" or man should be born to "Torah, chupah, and ma'asim tovim" [Hebrew for "study, marriage, and good works"].

ART offers a different answer again - and not a shallow answer. In fact, in the coming age, this answer may prove to be the most satisfying to more and more of us: Art is a way of encountering the world with total integrity, and responding by creating. This vision of ART AS A MATRIX OF GROWTH is presented in the book -- enjoy! READ MORE
... and find out more!
Use the drop-down menu at the upper right to view selections from the Book that are relevant to each of the important issues it addresses.
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