The Prodigal SOn with Pigs Artist: Jerry Dienes, (United States of America, Contemporary)
All of this is from page 2 interpreted from Mona Bagasao-Cave about the cover art.
The art on the cover of The Upper Room magazine can delight, challenge, or sometimes even frustrate readers. The variety of emotions an image might evoke speaks of art’s power to move viewers past observation to response. Sometimes the response occurs because a cover – usually a rendering of a biblical passage – depicts the event in the “wrong” place or time. Maybe we have a clear picture in our minds of what Bethlehem looked like two thousand years ago. How can a nativity be depicted in a bamboo hut or a palatial structure when the bible clearly tells us that Jesus was born in a stable? Or maybe one of the characters doesn’t appear right. Mary did not wear a school-girl uniform, and probably Gabriel didn’t grin when he relayed the good news of Jesus Christ’s birth. And what do we do with a Prodigal Son dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt? Yes the cove art doesn’t always offer every reader’s view of the story. But in each piece – among the diversity of people, places, and objects that inhabit the covers – lies a universal truth. In this issue’s cover, I see in the face of the prodigal something that we all can recognize: that moment when we realize that our lives can change, that we don’t have to stay with pigs. A home is awaiting us where we can find security, maybe even love – although we don’t deserve it. I embrace the rich variety of the cover art. I embrace the point when we each can say, “Yes, I see what the artist is trying to communicate.” And I embrace the joy that comes with thinking of all the readers around the world who are saying it too.