Fr. Silouan Justiniano

Iconography and Theory

Fr. Silouan photo

Fr. Silouan Justiniano was born in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico to non-Orthodox parents in May 5, 1973. His family moved to the US in 1985 and soon after his arrival he discovered art history through a friend who introduced him to the masters of the Renaissance. This engendered in him a love for drawing and painting which eventually lead him to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Upon completing his undergraduate work in 1995, he entered the Master of Fine Arts program in Hunter College, of the City University of New York, which he completed in 1999. In 1997 he embraced Orthodoxy with his family. Drawn to monastic life, in 2002 Fr. Silouan was tonsured a monk and in 2006 he was ordained to the priesthood. He is part of the Brotherhood of the Holy Cross (ROCOR) in Long Island, NY. His obediences in the monastery consist of serving the the daily cycle of services and painting icons. It was in fact in the monastery where, through the blessing and guidance of his his spiritual father, Fr. Silouan learned icon painting – by a thorough research of medieval egg-tempera techniques.

Throughout the years before discovering icon painting, Fr. Silouan experimented with various styles of figuration and abstraction, searching for a visual language to communicate the Sacred in art, but grew disillusioned with the art world’s fragmentary theories and the cult of novelty. The yearning for a way of visually manifesting the Sacred, a way of expressing the transcendent in the immanent, through painting as symbol, was ultimately fulfilled in his encounter with the Icon.

Read all of Fr Silouan Justiniano’s articles.


  1. Philip Davydov on June 2, 2013 at 2:09 am

    Great respect to the author!
    Sharing point of view and wishing to express gratitude for publishing it.
    Looking forward to read more !

    In Christ,
    Philip Davydov

  2. Claudette Vaillancourt on October 15, 2013 at 8:37 am

    J’ai lu cet article sur Archétype et symbole III: Vision noétique, suite … Je trouve intéressant, avez-vous des informations pour l’application, discernement de cette vision noétique. J’ai travaillé sur cela depuis quelques temps, j’aimerais pourvoir communiquer avec le Fr Justiano, à quel endroit vit-il? Si cela est possible. Union de prière In Christo Jesu

  3. Claudette Vaillancourt on October 15, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Avez vous les articles précédent sur le sujet & Archétype et symbole I et II de l’auteur de Silouane Justiano ?

    Merci, je suis intéressée à le rejoindre ou avoir ces deux articles qui me seront utile pour approfondir l’iconographie. Merci union de prière In Christo Jesu Montréal Canada

  4. Orthodox Arts Journal on November 28, 2013 at 9:22 am

    […] Fr. Silouan Justiniano […]

  5. Dianne L Winsky on April 9, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Dear Orthodox Journal, I have a question that I thought perhaps someone there may be able to answer. Our church has the icon of the Annunciation out for this week’s holiday. I noticed that on the wall that moves behind Archangel Gabriel, across the icon to behind the Holy Mother of God, there is a black, or very dark rectangle. I hadn’t noticed it before and I am wondering if this is symbolic of the Holy Mother of God’s womb? Or, if it has some other symbolic meaning? Thank you for your help.
    Mat. Dianne Winsky

    • Jonathan Pageau on April 9, 2015 at 11:15 pm

      Mat. Dianne, it is difficult to say without seeing the icon, but could it be a door or a window? The Theotokos is usually on an elevated “porch” with a building behind her. sometimes she has the door directly at her back.

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