What passes for Christian art today is narrowly defined in its expression. It is art that is mostly representational, overly sentimental and trite. It states the obvious and leaves nothing to the imagination.
It attempts to define in very concrete terms what can only be spiritually discerned.
The Bible has deliberately left out a physical description of Jesus. We do not know if He was tall or short, light or dark skinned, blue, green or brown-eyed. Did He have straight or crooked teeth...?
If it were vitally important to our faith would the Holy Spirit not have included a description in the written record?
Physical descriptions of Jesus occur in Isaiah and Revelation. What is detailed in Isaiah is simply too ghastly to describe literally and fit the sentimental model. As for the description in Revelation, every symbolic detail has been depicted so literally, as to be horrific! You’ve surely seen the images of Jesus with fiery eyes, the sword coming out of his mouth…
The contemporary Christian art market is also saturated with all sorts of depictions of angels, from chubby babies with wings, to saccharine, winged women. How many of us have actually seen angels to be qualified to depict them in our work?
I am not opposed to attempting to depict angels at all. After all, we have been blessed with ample God-given imaginations. I am however, passionately opposed to the trite, uniformity of much that passes for Christian art today.
Why not seek God for a sharp contemporary voice in art? To do that we need to approach the subject with fresh eyes. It is important that we engage in a discussion of why create at all. The author of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. That would imply that the quest for originality and creativity is nothing more than vanity.
So, of what possible use is this wonderful gift of art?
Here are some thought to ponder:
• We create because we must. There is an inner compulsion that urges us on. It is insistent and cannot be ignored.
•We create because we understand ourselves better when we explore the language of art.
• We create out of sheer delight in the world around us.
• We create when no other response is adequate. We engage in the nonverbal language of art when there is no other way to express our emotions - whether joy, confusion, anger or even dismay.
• We create fully aware that we are not creators, merely commentators.
• We create because we have a mandate to be witnesses to the good news entrusted to us.
But most importantly, I believe that as Christian artists, we create because in the artistic process we draw closer to God.
In coming to know Him, we make Him known to others – inadvertently, almost despite ourselves.
Those, my friends, are some of my reasons for pursuing the goal of creating the very best art that I can as a Christian artist. Others may label what I create as Christian art simply because in the making of art I am also equally passionate about living transparently and unashamedly as a Christian, both of which will undoubtedly be lifelong pursuits.A Greater Town: A listing of all sorts of sites.
A Book For Creative Christians.
"I came upon your website quite by accident, or so I thought, but I now believe that I have been led to it.
I am a
Christian and an artist, and have been feeling quite devastated lately,
because I was going nowhere with my art. I have wanted to create
Christian art for a long while but have sold out to doing other stuff
that is not in my heart. Any Christian work I have done, I have been
loathe to exhibit because of adverse comments. Thank you so much for
your encouragement and truths about our heavenly Father."
"I was so
encouraged by your blog and website tonight as I read your heart for the
Father, worship and engaging the Holy Spirit in your creative
Share your reasons for why you create!
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