Monday, December 13, 2010

Dare I ask it...What is GOOD art?

One of my good friends who happens to be an art teacher at a Christian school, recently gave a lecture to her colleagues about how to look at art and judge for yourself whether it is "good or bad" from a strictly Christian viewpoint. The lecture was given at the request of her colleagues, as many of them had little or no background in art, art history, or art criticism of any kind. The questions being raised were, "How does one define 'good art' or 'bad art?'" and, "How can I as a Christian protect myself from 'bad' art while uplifting and supporting that which is 'good'?"

Truthfully, many Christians either buy into the attitude that all art is subjective, and it's really up to the viewer to decide whether it's good or bad, OR they steer clear of art altogether, seeking shelter in self-imposed gated Christian communities of sorts, and leaving the subject of art to the world, which seems to have firm possession of the arts as a whole.

Now, I could get a lot of flack for this post, but I was very moved by my friend's exploration of this topic, and realized that without advertently saying the words, I too have been on a mission to discover ways for truth and beauty to be once again manifested in art, to be shared for the common good and benefit of all.

Even from a secular viewpoint, I'm not alone in this. A well-known group of painters in California, including Jeremy Lipking, Tony Pro, Ignat Ignatov, and Alexey Steele, have started a movement they call "Novorealism," a style of realism that is attempting to userp Modernism's power in the contemporary art world. Another of my favorite painters, Scott Burdick (who is an atheist),  recently gave a slideshow lecture for American Artist's "Weekend with the Masters", appealing for the return of beauty in the arts. You can view the video on his YouTube Channel by clicking below:

I'm not going to attempt to answer the above questions in a single blog post; instead, I will explore these questions, and more, over the next couple of months. In the mean time, I will say one thing: good art, from a Christian perspective, MUST do two things. It must (1) glorify God, and (2) manifest beauty. The interpretations of these conditions are vast and diverse. To be continued... 


1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your blog post! You sound like the great Francis Shaeffer. I couldn't agree with you more. Looking forward to watching for your future posts that explore these concepts.


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