Manuel Nunez paints to express his faith. His paintings are presented in a style rich in symbolism. Manuel portrays the dichotomies of life. “What interests me,” says Nunez, “is the ongoing struggle between good and evil, purity and decadence.” His unique tributes to struggles of the human spirit establish Nunez as the definitive master of spiritual imagery. “My images are of strong women: beautiful, but not exploited, sensual and virtuous, wrestling with the underlying conflict over what life is versus what it should be.”
With 23-karat gold leaf, Manuel reaches new levels of drama and unparalleled richness. Gold plays an important symbolic role, as well. “My use of gold,” he explains, “is a symbol for the dichotomies of life, because gold can simultaneously represent things good and evil.” While gold can symbolize decadence or indulgence, Manuel uses gold to represent God’s righteous purity, as in Russian icon art.
In all his paintings, the gold halos represent God’s presence. “The gold bars that border many of my paintings symbolize the boundaries of the one true path to righteousness. But while I believe that there is only the one path, it is full of life in abundance. Likewise, the thin gold lines that rise upward through the image represent the negative forces that interfere with our receiving messages from heaven, like television static. Ultimately, however, the lines still lead upward to heaven, purifying us and bringing us closer to God.”
— Kalu Ndukwe Kalu (via observando)