The artworks of Ron Richmond are christological metaphors that induce stillness and reflection. The rich colors and the juxtaposition of photo-real forms against muted, simple backgrounds draws viewers into Richmond’s sacred spaces and invites them to “meditate upon these things” (1 Tim 4:15).
Like many of Richmond’s other artworks, Catharsis no. 27 creates a metaphorical reflection on the processes of repentance and change. Through cathartic release and atoning abandonment, light and life are gained. The rough-hewn altar is draped with a crimson cloth, which brings to mind the directive of Isaiah, “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isa. 1:18–19). A palm tree—an ancient sign of victory and a tree of life motif—is bathed in light in the distance through the opening in the wall. Nobody is in the room, only the altar with a vestige of the past atop it.
In Triplus, Richmond illustrates Moses 6:60, “For by the water ye keep the commandment; by the Spirit ye are justified, and by the blood ye are sanctified.” Playing on the same metaphor of purity overcoming its opposite, the use of a white cloth over a red one is made possible through the cleansing power that the bowls contain: water, blood, and spirit.