Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Art -- reflections on gothic and darkness

Bonnie over on Intellectuelle has a magnificient post reflecting on presentation of darkness in art. It's an interesting meditation on Gothic art, honest struggling with darkness, etc. Here's two teriffic paragraphs that track along with our recent themes of Christianity and Art:

"Early Christian and Medieval art portrayed much, via pose, convention, and symbol, of Biblical story and Biblical truth. Even during the Renaissance, Christian truth and honor were still prevalent (in a more humanistic depiction.) But most non-religious art since the Enlightenment has sought to depict a different reality than the one of the Bible; it has sought to glorify all things human (humanism) and undermine, ridicule, or outright shatter “traditional” or Christian morality. And, sadly, much Christian art in the modern era has become sappy, trite, obscure, or dull.

I would like to see gifted modern Christian artists reclaim art, using all methods available to reach and “re-enlighten” contemporary humankind. Beyond pretty pictures (not that those don’t have their place) or rousing (dare I say, entertaining?) tales and inspiring figures, or even morality pieces, I would like to see art that gets real, gets deep, and uncovers what’s really going on inside of human beings. I'd like to see it demonstrate that a nightmare can be turned into a most glorious reality of truth and redemption, from the psyche outward"

She seems to hit the point that Philip Ryken talks about in his book Art for God's Sake: that Christian artists need to truly wrestle with the truth of sin (as well as the beauty of redemption. Fine work Bonnie, thanks for the post!