Monday, February 14, 2005

Art and the common man

The advent of megachurches (with services available in a variety of popular flavors) brings with it a conspicuous trend to banality. Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost was brave enough to point out one aspect of this tendency in a post the other day.

How did we go from Rembrandt to Kinkade?

When did our appreciation of a work of art become based on how it matched the colors in our living room carpet?

I don’t know when or how evangelicalism began to dismiss the importance of aesthetics. But I want to start finding my way back out of this forest of apathy. Every weekend I’ll post a different work by a Christian artist. The work will "hang" on my blog so that viewers may have an opportunity to reflect, comment, and discuss the work.

Predictably enough, he hit a nerve. Or two. The comments thread is instructive.
In this later post he lays out his case, using Thamas Kinkaide as an example of his larger point.

This is what is so distressing about Thomas Kinkade: he is both a creator of some of the most inspiring paintings of the past two decades and a producer of some of the worst schlock ever manufactured by a talented artist.

There is lots more to the debate, but that's the bottom line. Well, not exactly, since it appears in the middle of the text, but the point is well made.

Surely the Church is durable enough to benefit from some well-done, non-malevolent constructive criticism. This isn't an attack by a pagan, after all.

Now if we could just do something about the music...

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