Interesting examples from Poland of contemporary icons. The article is primarily about the results of a competition but it does have examples of the work of several artists.
if we want to inspire a powerful Counter-Modern or Counter-Postmodern Catholic culture today, then we need to reconnect today's worship with art so that people are engaged with it in the course of their worship. This means modifying our worship — even in the Latin Mass - and painting art that connects with people today.
The state of "Christian art" is frequently, and not without reason, criticized as being substandard but the solution is simple. If you want art that "leads to God through the appreciation of beauty, harmony, goodness, truth and love, respect, unity and the transcendent," then patronize that type of art. If you have the means, commission that type of art.
Priest, Prophet and King, all of the baptized are invested in these three offices. The degree to which they fulfill these offices will depend on their individual gifts, talents, and calling.
But how, specifically does an artist fulfill the role of priest? To answer this we must first briefly examine the role of the priest and the Sacraments of the Church.
John of Fiesole (Fra Angelico),the patron of Christian artists,left us many paintings but few words. The quotes that are attributed to him, however, speak volumes.
The lure of adulation, praise, and recognition, is a tempting one. But ultimately it may lead us away from the path God has put us on. Humility is often seen as a weakness, something that keeps us from achieving all that we are capable of. But this is the wrong way to look at it. When we stop seeking the approval of others, we begin to focus our gifts and talents on pleasing God.
A Christian, who is an artist, who is well grounded in their faith, who has formed their conscience in the teachings of the Church, will produce Christian art. It doesn't matter if it is a portrait, a landscape, a superhero movie, or pop song, that artist will produce work that is consistent with teachings and values of their faith.
A "Christian Artist" is always Christian first, and then an artist, because the gift of artistic talent is the gift that has been given them to preach to the world. That does not mean that the work has to be heavy-handed in its message. It is often better if it is not.
Should a Christian artist paint themes from pagan mythology, other religions, or even fantasy motifs?
Many artists who are deeply grounded in their Christian faith, especially those just starting out in their career, have questions about what is and is not appropriate subject matter. In a previous post I addressed nudity and the Christian artist, today I would like to address subjects that don't seem to have anything to do with Christianity at all.
The story of our salvation is really the only story, and we retell it in endless variations. Even the ancient pre-Christian mythologies echo the story of Christ and His salvific role.
Think of it this way. Imagine time as a slow moving river. All of human history takes place within this river, from the first humans upstream to the present day somewhere further downstream. Each of us live out our lives in a current of this river, overlapping with others.
As humans our perception of time is linear. We look back upstream and see a sequence of events that have led us to where we are now. But God stands outside the river. God stands on the riverbank observing the passage of the stream. To God, all of our history is happening now, at different points along the river.