Argentine artist Jorge Cocco Santangelo has always felt drawn towards religious art. For a while, he felt trapped by the traditional standard of religious art and was afraid to branch out. But his artwork now has given many viewers a different look at Christ’s ministry.
When many people think of Mormon art they think of the well-known paintings by Del Parson, Arnold Freiburg, Greg Olsen, and Simon Dewey among many others. Each artist has a different approach to their paintings and depicts what they think Christ would look like. These artists choose the medium of Realism to depict their work and have set a standard for other artists to follow. Cocco has decided not to follow this route and the results are incredible.
Cocco experimented with many different types of abstract art before settling on what he calls sacrocubism. He likes to use shapes and geometry in his work because he feels it provides depth to the images that wouldn’t otherwise be there. 3 years ago he entered his painting, “The Call” into the Church’s 10th International Art Competition and made it!
After that first painting, the Church commissioned 10 paintings to be hung in The Church History Museum. Cocco says this about his paintings, by viewing these paintings, “we draw closer to God, we get purified, we get healed, we get refined,”
Cocco sees his painting as parables. In the scriptures, we can read the same story over and over again and still get something new out of it. Cocco views his paintings the same way and would hope that other viewers would see his art in a new light every time they see them.
Cocco has painted many subjects but has focused a lot on Christ’s ministry in The Bible. In the future, he hopes to focus on the premortal life, Christ’s ministry in the Americas, and prophecies from the scriptures. He loves that people enjoy his work but he wants everyone to understand, “Through this art, people may be able to reach some spiritual experience that they wouldn’t be able to reach through reading something. The most important is that the viewer may draw closer to the Savior.”
The exhibit will be on display until October 9th of this year. To view more of his work visit his website.