Papercutting in religious art goes back to the sixteenth century, and since then
has never failed to inspire the more delicate features of the religious
sentiment. It is to faith imagery what Plato's cave is to philosophy; its
contours suggest depth, and its self-restrictive use of color is a constant
reminder of the chiaroscuro of faith itself. Although line and space impose
upon the artist an asceticism of the essential, the fine-tuned subtleties of
this art form open up a whole new array of expressive sensitivity and detailed
variety. In the hands of a master, papercutting may become the true poetry of
One day, Dan Paulos may well enter the history of religious art as Our Lady's
papercutter in the twentieth century. He works almost exclusively with the images
of the Blessed Virgin, Christ, and the Holy Family. His artistic rendering of
Mary expresses not only delicacy and joy, but focuses also on Our Lady's
strength of presence and her spiritual power. Dan's pen and scissors capture
traditional motifs of Marian art, from the nativity to the Assumption. They
also lend new flavor to classical images such as "Our Lady of Perpetual Help," "Lourdes," or
"Our Lady of Guadalupe." Dan not only recreates, he also helps to
shape new representations of Mary. He pictures "Our Lady of Medjugorje," and
gives a stirringly personal touch to the "Madonna of the Slaughtered Jews,"
the "Towering Pillars of Freedom" and the "Apache Madonna."
||Thus, Paulos' Marian message is manifold; it speaks of the sweet strength of the mother and protector, the forceful compassion of the woman of the Magnificat, and the many-splendored presence of Christ's mother and companion, our sister in faith, throughout the history and tradition of Christianity. His are "Paper Madonnas" that will prod the conscience of the people who look at them, and prompt them "to go out and see what they can do to help raze bigotry, selfishness and fear." And this is how Dan Paulos understands his mission in life: "to create for the glory of God."|
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