The Story of Isaac

Like many Shag paintings, there are stories within, some obvious, others a bit more hidden. In the case of The Story of Isaac, the name of the painting gives us the first clue. To some, the biblical figure Isaac is a figure representing tribal history. Many Christian’s believe that Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac under God’s command is an example of both faith and obedience. Traditionally it is thought that Isaac was an adult at the time of sacrifice, however a modern theory is that Isaac was a boy. In Shag’s painting, it would seem Isaac is represented as a young boy, engrossed in a very contemporary setting, watching a very contemporary cartoon, Sponge Bob Square Pants. Abraham is represented outside, preparing the bundle of sticks for the offering, a gas can nearby. Is God represented in the painting? She might just be the one giving the command, crossing her fingers hoping it all goes to plan.


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