Category Archives: angels

We are like angels

Happy holidays! Please enjoy this music while you’re reading:

The term “outsider art” refers to self-taught or naive artists who have little or no contact with the mainstream art world.

Elijah Pierce, Angel, 1983

Outsiders come from all walks of life, from all cultures, from all age groups.


Howard Finster, Baby’s Angel, 1990

Outsider art often depicts extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.

Adolpf Wölfli, Angel, 1920

But aren’t we all outsiders? Italian writer Luciano De Crescendo wrote, We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.

Alexandra Huber, title and date unknown

And as prolific angel painter Howard Finster said, When we all get together what a day that shall be.

Howard Finster, When we all get together what a day that shall be, 1986

Peace on earth, 2016.

Hark, the herald angels

So many images of angels all over the place at this time of year. An angel is a lovely symbol of hope, goodness, purity, protection, comfort and consolation. I see a fallen angel as lost soul, a Lucinda WIlliams song. I like this online find:

Angels descending, bring from above,
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
– Fanny J. Crosby

So Fanny J. Crosby turns out to be an American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer, 1820–1915. A lifelong Methodist, and blind almost from birth, she was one of the most prolific hymnists in history, writing over 8,000 hymns and gospel songs with over 100 million copies printed.

I am a lover of Italian Renaissance art, and thus a big fan of angels. Here are two of my favorite angel images, very non-Renaissance. I love the first, Jean Michel Basquiat’s Fallen Angel, for the way it invites us to think about how it might feel (in living color, and we can even see into his insides) to be a fallen angel. I love the Guardian Angel on high in the Zurich train station by Niki de Sainte Phalle for its color, joy, and love, as she watches over passengers traveling their roads.