Joshua Koodathinal John

Born in Dharbanga, Bihar, Josh grew up in rural U.P. and Mussoorie and studied English literature at St.Stephen’s College, Delhi. He is an artist, motorcycle enthusiast, and pastor of a local church called Fusion. Married to Asha he lives with his two children in Delhi, balancing his time between painting, leading New Delhi- NCR’s largest motorcycle group (3500 members), and pastoring a multi-cultural community of Christians who serve the city with the mission statement “I ♥ Delhi.”

Our faith is traced through metaphors and parables.  Art connects the outer and inner being.  Paintings can pull back the veil over our minds so we can behold the beauty of God, the power of His Word, the purpose of His Will and the wonder of His Creation. Art draws contrasts between the infinite character of God and our own finiteness and longings.

Art invites us to contemplate what will last and what will fade away.  Art is an invitation to choose the better portion: It is about listening intently, like Mary at Christ’s feet.

The gift of imagination and the gift of faith both come from God.  We are most fruitful when fused to Jesus, the True Vine who nourishes our creativity.  Paintings glorify God and gain credibility and depth as the Divine Artist is given access to the canvas of our lives.

Saints at the Chai Shop
2014, Acrylic on Canvas, 16” x 24” © Joshua John
Men drinking chai somewhere in rural India is a known ritual.
For a woman to sit beside them is unusual.
Typically she is tending the cattle, feeding her children,
ferrying water, working the field; anything but sitting easy drinking tea.
How can she sip chai without getting her character questioned?
How can different tribes be together in the same narration?
The Saints at the Chai Stall quit trying to be good or religious.
They simply received the gift of reconciliation without a fuss.
It turns prejudiced people into a holy community at rest.
Drinking chai, breaking chappati is an act of cosmic communion.
Grace man on the lower right is lowly and humble and without him
There is no colour, no communion and no saints who are truly alive.

Chai Chapati Redemption
2013, Acrylic on Canvas, 30” x 40” © Joshua John
Redemption of all image bearers of The One
Restoration through blood shed – body broken
Reconciliation as we break chapati – drink chai
Remember this is why we can see eye to eye
Rest in peace for eternity sparkles deep inside

Dancing Wheels Chasing Shadows
2009, Acrylic on Canvas, 48” x 36”, © Joshua John
“Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
This painting is about the gift of grace to live life freely. The rider leans back against the drum of delight, applauding and celebrating the one who releases his confined and confused spirit heavenward.
I know the answer to some of my questions but many will remain unanswered this side of eternity. And yet I am secure in the knowledge that my Creator knows me fully even though I only see a poor reflection and know in part.
Thus wonder triumphs in my life and leads me to worship the One who is Love.

In my Living Room
2004, Acrylic on Paper, 28” x 22”, © Joshua John
Here in my living room
You can’t bring me down

Rakesh and the Cosmic Coalition
2010, Acrylic on Canvas, 36” x 36”, © Joshua John
I made this painting after a visit to Delhi’s largest TB hospital, as a portrait of the young man I met there.
Experts have already answered the question why TB is so rampant. What remains to be questioned are the dismissive answers given to patients like 19 year old Rakesh who wonders every night, “why me?”
His family has unanimously concluded that his present illness is due to his “pichla janam” or past life.  Rakesh is not so easily convinced. He suspects that if there is a divine conspiracy it’s meant to release him from the bondage of sickness and superstition and not keep him bed-ridden. He dreams of becoming a doctor. Dreams of empty hospital beds because of health and wholeness. No pain and no regrets.
Surely he is more than a statistic? Surely there is purpose beyond mere existence? Beyond a random consequence due to an unknown past or an alignment of the stars? Yes, Rakesh wonders “why me?” and seven months into his recovery it’s not as filled with self-pity anymore.

Green Planet of the Vegetarian Tigers
(Triptych), 2006, Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 10” x 3 © Joshua John
Be vegetarian and kill the girl-child

Green Planet of the Vegetarian Tigers
(Triptych), 2006, Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 10” x 3 © Joshua John
Save the tiger and kill the girl-child

Green Planet of the Vegetarian Tigers
(Triptych), 2006, Acrylic on Canvas, 12” x 10” x 3 © Joshua John
Save the planet and kill the girl-child

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