Monday, April 23, 2007

Shocking? What is art? Clue Two

Art, well, that's Wikipedia for you (debatable, yet accessible). I believe it means different things to different persons, ethnics, and religions. Cultural diversity finds varying degrees of what art is, or should be, some with tightly focused authority (to me this is pitiful) and other with free expression, and then in between, not really having a sense of what art is or can be to an individual, group, or society. Structurally it has the formula art theory imposes, grammar (line, shape, light and dark, color, texture) and design (Unity, balance, rhythm, proportion) - nine things make up art. Interesting is the number nine. The Beatles wrote about it, our retail system thrives on it, and art is made up of it. What about this number nine or this number nine? Well, now, that could be a comparison thesis.

Personally, I wrestled with my art for years. I have been overly sensitive to the point of thinking, "Only God is our creator, I do not want to offend Him, by taking away any focus from Him," and I allowed myself to be stifled. For years, I walked yearning visions of expression, but in reality, I was suppressing and being oppressed with lies, my own lies, and others lies. My paintings were never finished, never enough, something was missing from them. From self-induced lies, critical thinking, and the rejection from others, I felt banded up, like duct tape over my mouth, speechless. In my case, I stymied myself. I struggled with getting my visions on canvas, or searching for the "right" subject matter. The subject matter was never, and still today I struggle with it being, "perfect." When I get down to it, I only have myself to blame for robbing myself of expression. My own guilt and lack of esteem had brought me to this dreary, colorless, non-expressive place. Then there was light and breath. While studying creation (biblical), I realized God creates us in His image. I then the thought came to me, "As God is creative, and we are to become like Him, then, yes, yes, it's well with God that we can be creative! We can express our joys, our sorrows, and yes he is an understanding, compassionate God! Phew! It is well with my soul. I can go on and give God the glory for my gifts, talents and knowledge. After all, creativity does come from Him (the breath of God/inspiration). In relation to art theory and the biblical number, art may be explained as judgement. Again, wiki leaves me dry. I think there is more to judgement. I thank God it is not the end of things. We can look at it as the beginning to things, or on the fence as others and I have seen.

Andy Warhol may have had it right. Andy's Electric Chair is example. Shocking-isn't it or is it? While listening to a sermon in the past months, the subject of the electric chair is bought up and the question asked, "Would you wear a charm of an electric chair around your neck as a symbol of grace and love?" The sermon went on to expose that in today's society some wear crosses as a symbol of Christianity, when in it's day, it was the sign of execution - like today's electric chair. My mind went immediately to Andy Warhol's Electric Chair. I being a great fan of Andy, I know he had a devotion to his religion (in the traditional sense). I want to believe Andy may have been making a bigger statement about the electric chair than what exposed. That fateful day in church, I thought, "Andy may have had it right!" In symbolizing the electric chair, many persons probably thought, "How quaint, how predictable, HOW SHOCKING! Why are we electrocuting persons in today's society" Or, was it, Andy was rebelling against tradition.... Tradition of crosses, rosaries, DEATH! Why is the focus on death? When you read the word of the Sermon on the Mount, we move to grace and forgiveness of others, realizing our states and the dangerousness of judgement. Putting death in the face of society is saying, "Do you chose death or life?" I think Andy may have also had a deeper thought, "Do you serve a God who is in the grave or the one who has risen and conquered the choice of death for us?"

May I ask, what is art to you?

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