Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Catholic World View & Art

I was fortunate enough to come across this video today which is episode two (the most recent one out) of a program called The Way of Beauty by David Clayton.

You can learn more about the program and watch archived episodes here. I liked this second episode best myself as it directly addressess an issue I was pondering in my previous post Fill These Hearts; Sacred and Secular Art where I was seeking to understand what sacred art is and how it relates to artwork that glorifies God but may not be in the category of "sacred art". I found that his treatment was very affirming of all art that brings glory to God and open while at the same time maintaining important distinctions. I like what Clayton has to say on the issue thus far and am looking forward to follow his exploration of this subject in this series. Clayton proposes that good art is beautiful and true. While this may seem at first to be too narrow a view, he notes that a piece of art could depict even a horrendous subject such as suffering yet still be beautiful if it proposes also hope. In other words good art needs to be real and need not shy away from the messiness of real life in order to be beautiful. This brings us to truth, which can be approached by different angles. For example art that may not be as true to life in the sense of being naturalistic could be true even in abstracted styles or are less "literal". We see this for example in iconography, which is seeking the truth but by a different path, or is exploring another dimension of truth. This point of truth in art is something I've been thinking about in regard to my own art and I plan to write on that soon.

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