The main altar crucifix.
In 1998, Toparovsky was among several hundred international artists invited to submit portfolios to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to be considered to create works of art for the new Cathedral. Designed by Jose Rafael Moneo, Our Lady of the Angels, the largest cathedral to be built in 200 years, is set in a plaza in the center of downtown Los Angeles.
A commission to design and fabricate the main altar crucifix was awarded to Toparovsky by Cardinal Roger Mahoney in the spring of 2000, his first liturgical work. The mother church for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Cathedral was consecrated in 2002. The crucifix has become a beloved icon, celebrated for its artistry and evocation of compassion in the devotional practice of the Cathedral’s tens of thousands of visitors and parishioners annually.
Honoring the installation, Toparovsky created a video presentation, a mosaic journal entitled Imagining Christ: Making the Crucifix. The work can be viewed on a large-scale monitor mounted at the entrance of the Cathedral’s vast Mausoleum and marks the first use of video technology in the Church. The artwork is a gift of the artist and has become part of the Cathedral’s permanent art collection.