Holding Pixels and Spirit in Both Hands

Roz Dimon’s upcoming show in New York City is taking on a subject matter that has our country deeply divided—guns. Dimon, a graduate of the School of Theology’s Education for Ministry program (EfM), does not own a gun, did not grow up with guns, and supports gun control. But her show is not a reflection of her personal views; it is a glimpse into the medium of invention and paradox, and that is what makes her pieces powerful.  

This is a complicated and volatile subject for many Americans as guns have always been a part of Americana—through tradition, as rites of passage, and for protection. But our country is rapidly moving from picturesque hunting scenes to mass shootings. We are no longer watching a weekly episode of Andy Taylor’s deputy Fife putting a single bullet in his upper pocket, “just in case.” We are mourning deaths by young men, “with a gaze bereft of any happiness” bearing assault rifles.

A southerner by birth and now a long-time resident of New York City, Dimon is an artist, interfaith minister, and an Episcopalian. She has begun to incorporate guns into her work and is lobbying for art instead of ammunition. “Every gun has a story; weapons can be both beautiful and evil,” Dimon states.

Working with a Wacom pen and tablet, she has spent the last 30 years exhibiting her work all over the United States. Her topics have always been focused on American culture and artifacts.

Her new exhibit, “What is it with AMERICA AND GUNS?” will open in the fall of 2018 in New York City with partial proceeds going to EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY. In this exhibit, Dimon examines the complexity of the stories that guns tell while shying away from moralistic observations. Instead she uses her pen and brush to illustrate the process of thinking theologically within the innumerable nuances of American culture.

Classically trained as an artist who studied in Italy, Dimon began “to feel an invisible pulse in the air—pixels.” Landing in New York, her introduction to computer art totally changed her life. She credits this paradigm shift in her art work, in part, to her desire to hold pixel and spirit in both hands. This discovery of contemporary medium mixed with belief lit a spark in Dimon. For Dimon, “sparks fly in the middle,” and this self-revelation ignited a desire to create art that could speak the vernacular and make a positive difference in the world.

Her work ushers young and old into connection through digital media, which Dimon describes as “the new Gutenberg press of imagery.” She illustrates ancient words of theology while making cultural comments about our contemporary world. Her pieces reflect scriptural stories of nature and invention eventually colliding and ending with destruction. Fallen, perhaps, but left in an embrace that insists on rebirth.

For example, her piece entitled PALE MALE: A Pilgrimage, 2005 (pictured above), was acquired for the permanent collection by the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The message is far reaching and full of questions while the imagery moves brilliant colors with clarity into an almost dizzying final scene.

Dimon has big plans for future projects. She hopes to take her digital media into conversation with Buddhism, Hinduism, and the three Abrahamic faiths, envisioning a multi-layered experience working collaboratively with other artists in which she directs the voice and story of the mandala of love, peace, and justice. Grant money is still needed to complete the project, but it would be the beginning of several interactive pieces displayed on the web and installed in several sacred spaces. Dimon states that she is painting in the medium of “a new global language that we must figure out together.”