Archangel Michael a/k/a Saint Michael a/k/a Sf. Mihai

archangel michael a/k/a sf. mihai gif art by amy adams

Sf. Mihai or Archangel Michael was mentioned to me in particular by an ex-cop turned Santeria Priest named Rob at a Botanica about 20 years ago. Since then I’ve had a keen interest in this leader of the other archangels. I have often identified with the warrior archetype and he is a warrior. In the past I’ve made some sketches of him, this is the first mixed media work, paint and pastels on black paper. It is based on my memories of various images of him, which I never felt were quite right and in particular this image shown below of a mosaic was referenced. Mostly because the position of the head. In my version he is obviously quite different, it is a close-up and he wears chainmail.

Archangel Michael art mixed media work by artist Amy Adams
Original mixed-media artwork of Sf. Mihai a/k/a Archangel Michael by Amy Adams
St Michael. 12th-century mosaic from the Byzantine part of La Martorana, also known as Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio in Palermo, Sicily.
Photograph by: Marie-Lan Nguyen of St Michael. 12th-century mosaic from the Byzantine part of La Martorana, also known as Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio in Palermo, Sicily.
Oddly, the outcome is still not really what I expected and I’m not sure how I feel about this work. I decided to play with some digital manipulations through various software filters on GIMP (GIMP is free software that is very sophisticated and much like photoshop) and in addition the google deep dream algorithm, which are essentially filters and made 2 gifs from the original drawing and resulting images.

The next image is the mixed-media work of Archangel Michael which clearly emulates the Medieval style from an image of Saint Martha and the Dragon. The Martha image is from a Medieval manuscript, that image was the basis of the filter used in the deep dream process.

Archangel Michael original digital art by amy adams artist aka amyincluj - original painting combined with custom deep dream filter from medieval manuscript

Saint Martha and the Dragon from a medieval manuscript

The first gif shown here is actually the 2nd gif that I created and is much more transformative and goes through a series of derivative images, whereas the second gif shown is much simpler and cycles through some variations from the deepdream filter in particular.

archangel michael a/k/a sf. mihai gif art by amy adams

Archangel Michael art gif by amy adams artist

Icons were often created for contemplation, for people to get closer to a higher being. Well it isn’t a piece of wood with an image in your possession to sit quietly, but what if the gif above can bring you to a relaxed meditative state? Honestly after looking at it for a few cycles, it seemed hypnotic to me. Just click on any of the gif images and they will open in a new window and you will see them full size cycling through.

Let me know what you think in the comments. You can find me on instagram or twitter or now on niume.