POSTPONED – Artist Highlight: Philip Barasch, Bearing Witness (Jan. 2024)


The final two months of Philip Barasch’s wife’s life inspired him to paint a series of 19 paintings that will open for public display starting Jan. 22 and going until February 9 at the Holy Redeemer Church Parish office at 25 N. Rosa Parks Blvd. Viewing is during office hours. The exhibit kick off will be on Sunday, January 21, 9am-12:30pm. The artist will give a talk at 11:15 am.

The last 62-days of Charis Barasch’s life inspired her husband Philip to paint a series entitled Bearing Witness. Philip and Charis lived in the Overlook neighborhood for many years before they retired to Astoria. “This was the last agreement we made as a husband and wife—that I would create a body of work,” he explained. Each painting contains a different revelation of his wife’s faith as expressed in the process of dying. 

Bearing Witness exhibit in Astoria
Bearing Witness exhibit in Astoria

Barasch began working on the paintings within months of her passing as a way to honor her and to process his emotions. The oil paintings are patterned after the Stations of the Cross, a meditation on the final hours of Jesus Christ leading to his death. Anyone who has witnessed the final hours of a loved one’s passing will likely find familiar themes in the series.

“What that means to me, is simply that these things, these powers, are out there in a transcendent way,” Barasch said. The exhibit is “the last great act of unconditional love” for his wife, he recently told Our Coast magazine which reviewed the exhibit at an Astoria gallery showing.

Bearing Witness: The Fall, Station 1
Bearing Witness: The Fall, Station 1
Bearing Witness Exhibit: The First Room, Station 2
The First Room, Station 2