Last week, Glenn introduced you to Ben McPherson, head of the American Dream Labs. While you have seen Ben's influence on TheBlaze in video shorts, set design, and visual aesthetics - you may not be familiar with his work as an painter and artist. On radio Friday, Ben discussed his first painting "And It Was Night", a recreation of the The Last Supper.
"My favorite artist would be Caravaggio and the classic painters that did very Catholic-driven stuff. So I wanted to just kind of play in that field and see what it was like. So it was an ambitious first endeavor. At the time when there was so much controversy with the 'Da Vinci Code' and Mary and so forth. So I thought, I'll set it straight," Ben explained.
"I was just really set on telling the story from the lens that I saw it. I always saw these men as very salt of the earth. They were fishermen, very blue-collar men. I thought, I needed guys who have real beards and are authentic. And eventually I found the only place I could find those type of men were in homeless shelters."
Ben said he would go to homeless shelters to find men to model for the painting and capture the "tans and faces" in order to reflect the soul of those people in the painting.
"Some of them would sit for us there at the shelter. Some would come into the studio. And you never knew if you would see them again. So you had to knock out what you needed. You had to get the scrap. They call it scrap in painting. Tans and face. The parts that you need to capture the soul of that person. So if you can't get them again to sit, you have something to go off."
In the painting, Ben attempted to capture the full story of that night in Jesus's life.
"When you see Christ's expression, you can tell he knows something everybody else doesn't. You can tell there is the classic sort of exchange where Peter and John -- they're pantomiming, where they're like, who is it that will betray the savior?...When Judas was in the doorway, so this area in front of the table is where he would have been. And the title of the painting is actually "And It Was Night," which is what John said as Judas exits the supper. And I thought that was a powerful metaphor for everything that was to come. Gethsemane, the crucifixion."
"For me, it was important to have this narrative from beginning to end. And you can really see a story in this painting. That's ultimately what we want to do is tell stories."