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Why on Earth Does God Have to Paint? Hardcover – July 10, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
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. JungÃÂÃÂ 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
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
Top Customer Reviews
Like the best of post-modern spiritual inquiries, this book defies easy categorization and eschews being definitive or prescriptive in favor of authentically and humbly offering possibilities for the spiritual seeker and artist. And it has an uneasy prophetic power: Junko Chodos' art calls to spiritual refugees across our contemporary landscape with an exhilarating corpus of work reflective of the aspirations of a twenty-first century mysticism.
This book is an exploration of the life, spiritual journey, and mission of Junko Chodos and the art that her ardent spirit has forged. Included is a processional of the visitants, or iconic themes present in Junko's art, biographies of both Junko and Rafael Chodos, treatments upon her style and process, and a stirring description of the artist's vision of centripetal art and integrity as foundational to her art. With intertextual sensibility Rafael deftly includes private correspondence of the artist, studio notebooks and diaries reflecting the contemporary consciousness that rends text, welcoming readers to participate spontaneously unrestricted by genre and media expectations. More than catalog or collection, Why on Earth invites the reader to contact image and text at once rendering it an intimate and sensual engagement.
Although the book is challenging, it is a highly engaging book for even the uninitiated or the collegiate student of post-modern art and/or theology and it balances many functions. It is a post-modern treatise where readers can witness how Junko reflects the commitment to non-commercial integrity, collaboration among artists and the centrality of bodies as seen in her FATHOM project, an acute awareness of the danger and promise of technology, and the role of art in establishing justice-in-community. It also is an epistle of hope and inspiration to post-colonial theorists. Individuals who like Junko have experienced subaltern cultures, war, or the multivalent violences of consciences no longer at home within creedal religion will be livened through the reflections within the book's reflections of Junko's identity as spiritual refugee.
These many themes and functions find their narrative integrity here as a living archaeology of mysticism. Through their collaboration, Junko and Rafael Chodos erase prejudices, dichotomies, and limitations of the modern worldview. The political is the spiritual, the artist is the prophet, and law, justice, art, and religion are all joined by the same strivings of the human spirit. Artist, art, and viewer intimately participate in the shared return to the same spiritual center.
Central to the book's mystic vision is centripetal art, which affirms that the human heart will ever remain undefeated by imperialism, social divisions, and dogmatism. For whether the darkness is within an individual's own psyche or arises from the devastations of war, yet comes the redemptive hope that art still may usher one to the center of divine presence.