Saturday, December 4, 2010

Art as Servant: The Art Blog of David Myers

Just this morning I happened across the art blog of David Myers, another Catholic artist and thought I should share it here:

I have only given a cursory look to the blog, as I should probably be writing a paper right now for school, but I did look over an interview of Mr. Myers that was published in the 2009 May/June issue of St. Austin Review Magazine, and noticed that at the bottom of his blog Myers posted an excerpt from that interview, which I'd like to share here because it seems to encapsulate well the gist of the blog and his art (emphasis mine):

The Vocation of the Artist

I firmly believe that art is meant to serve others, especially in lifting the hearts of people, through "ephiphanies of beauty," (John Paul II's letter to artists) to the contemplation and the glory of God. The artist participates in a unique way in the inspiration of the Creator of all things, and knows something of His joy in the act of creation, for "the act of creation is an act of love."(The Agony and the Ecstacy) This act is essentially bound up with the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus, in which what had been invisible was made visible in His person, His life and work, and finally in His death and resurrection. The artist is exhorted by the very perception of his gift to its service. Art is not merely, nor should it ever be, a vehicle for selfish ends or cheap shock and awe, but it must seek to give joy to the lives of others. The artist is then in the end merely a servant of truth, beauty, and goodness, and his work must serve to convey these to a wider audience. "Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 15-16)I believe that the artist finds in the lives of Jesus, and of His foster father Joseph, essential role models, especially in their hidden life at Nazareth. Though very little is handed down to us in the Gospels or in tradition illuminating this period in Jesus' life, I believe that this hidden, simple, carpenter's life of "working quietly" (2 Thessalonians 3:11) can be a model for all artists, in which delight is daily sought in the manifestation of beauty in wood, paint, charcoal, dance, the stage, and music. This is a life of humility, where the artist freely accepts that this world, including his own work, "will pass away," (Matt. 24:35) but what it points to never will. Obedience to inspiration, especially as it is inspired by God's Word (itself the revelatory self-expression of God) is the artist's highest calling. This new site is dedicated to this higher calling of the artist, to this challenge.

While this whole passage is good, I chose to draw attention particularly to how Myers' communicates the intimate connection between art and the Incarnation. God is the great Artist who is compelled to make visible the invisible through the physical. With all of physical creation God is communicating something of Himself, but out of all physical creation what is the most accurate picture of the invisible mystery of God is the human body which reveals the person made in the image and likeness of God. Pope John Paul II stated in his General Audience of Wednesday, February 20th, 1980 that:

"The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it."

And of course, God made himself visible by taking on flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.

This topic could be elaborated upon endlessly I'm sure so for now I'm going to stop and try to get some school work done!

May all artist recognize their call to serve God who is Truth, Beauty and Goodness, made visable in through the body of Christ.

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