Monday, October 15, 2012
My Favorite Christian Art and Other Ramblings
I want "Christian art" to start living up to both the adjective and the noun it claims. Why is there so much bad Christian art? (as I've said before, often high on Christ, low on art). But instead of being negative, I thought I would give a shout out to some of my favorite Christian artists.
1. He Qi - a Chinese artist that is ResCov's take on bulletin art (joke, but a favorite at Resurrection Covenant). His work is theologically rich, pays attention to women, and seems to have something for all your lectionary needs!
2. Sadao Watanabe - I love this Japanese artist's prints. I think he would be perfect for a stations of the cross.
3. Marc Chagall - An early 20th-century Russian-French artist, his colorful style gives many religious themes a modernist push that helps one think about the subject in a new light. I love this christocentric (obviously) interpretation of the Exodus.
4. Jan Richardson- This contemporary American artist's work is more a visual meditation on a particular passage of scripture (usually from the lectionary because she's a good methodist!). Here's one of her Pentecost works. You can see more of her work here.
5. Anything from the St. John's Bible. This is the first handwritten Bible in hundreds of years commissioned by the Benedictine Abbey at St. John's in Collegeville, Minnesota (no surprise beauty is coming out of there!). They just completed the entire Bible in an illuminated manuscript, and several portions have larger pictures that were made in collaboration with both artists and theologians. So, for instance, here is their take on the first chapter of John:
The ResCov community got me a framed print of this when I left. It's the Acts 4 passage about Christians living life together and sharing what they had over the breaking of bread. I think they got it because I love potlucks a little too much. It was the perfect parting gift!
And, let's be honest, I'm a sucker for any type of icon.
I think there's something romantic about typing with just your two forefingers - the hunt and peck method. This is further exacerbated if one is engaging in the said hunting and pecking on an old, mechanical typewriter. It just seems like you should be writing a screenplay or magnum opus of some kind.
No one should have to eat cooked celery. Why does everyone ruin decent chicken noodle soup with these big, bland chunks of cooked mush? It's an unappealing texture and a nasty flavor. There, I said it. You can put this on the same shelf as white condiments. Gross.
On the recommendation of one Luke Halvorsen, I read Cloud Atlas. It is an amazing book that you should read, and I'm hoping the movie won't disappoint. It looks like great cinematography! Speaking of which, whenever someone says a movie isn't as good as the book, it seems akin to watching a movie based on a musical and saying, "It was better on Broadway." Of course it is; that's life. Further, when you complain that they didn't get in that fourth sub-plot of your favorite book into the 2-hour screenplay, it seems like you could show a bit more charity to the writers/directors and the space-time continuum. Also, for a good storyline, I think Ken Follett is hard to beat. I've been reading (actually listening to, but what's in a word?) "The Century Trilogy," his novels about a group of American, Welsh, British, and Russian families as they live through World War I and II. They aren't going to win a Pulitzer, but the plot really hooks you! And obviously you can't beat Pillars of the Earth and World without End for great historical fiction.
Well, another Monday is upon us. I will be leaving for the great state of New Hampshire on Thursday to spend the weekend with Amy and Andrew Daigle. I'm sure the leaves and company will make for a glorious time. Until then, make good choices!