Thursday, June 11, 2009

Modern Art, A Struggle Between Love and Hatred.

One of the greatest things I have come to embrace and appreciate about my upbringing was the emphasis on the world of the arts. My mother would arrange field trips to the symphony, ballet, theater, and art gallery openings. I remember walking through these great places with my little jaw on the ground as I would be in awe of the creativity and beauty that was around me. However, when it came to seeing what was considered modern art, my jaw would continue to be on the ground but it would be out of frustration and not awe. It seems like these two different jaw dropping experiences seem to be people's reaction to art created these days, either people love the skill and out of the box approach the artist took, or indgination is present because of their prejudices of what art is to look like.

I was on my way to class today and I was trying to find inspiration for what to blog about, when I saw this piece of art at one of the light rail stations. It immediately caught my attention due to its simplicity and beauty. Yet, as I continued to look at it and analyze it, it baffled me. As humans, we all have hands but where the differences come from what we do with them. Do we use them for good or evil? Are they showing care or contempt?

I think this a good example of the power of art, it causes us to think outside of what we're familiar with and push our imagination to grow. I don't know the meaning of what the artist was intending with this piece, but it worked. I can't shake the image out of my head as I think about what these hands are communicating. Yet, it is frustrating to find meaning with something you do not the direct meaning, so there's a little bit of hatred.


  1. Ah yes - the ever-present question: "Is beauty REALLY in the eye of the beholder?" After all, Paul tells us in Philippians to think on things that are "honest, pure, LOVELY" etc. So what are we supposed to think about?

    Most people claim that they see something something in nature as beautiful, whether a sunset, or the Grand Canyon, or the surf crashing against the rocks. They are expressing some of what God also expressed: God Himself recognizes beauty; at the creation, He identified His handiwork as "good."

    If beauty is a Biblical concept (and I believe it is), then how do we recognize it? What does its opposite look like? And since beauty is Biblical, isn't it reasonable to say that non-beauty (ugliness) is un-biblical - or even anti-biblical?

    And so, all that to say that there ARE standards of beauty; some modern art is beautiful and some - well, some is just plain ugly. . . (and probably not really art).

    The trick is digging deeper to find out just WHAT those standards are. And then think on those things.

  2. Regarding eye of the beholder, what about "ugly" or "beautiful" people? Does their outward appearance represent art and their expression of it? I know I can become more "beautiful" to the world if I put on makeup "correctly," style my hair just so, and wear clothing to "trick" the eye and give the illusion of a more proportioned body, i.e. according to what the media has defined as "beautiful." Aren't we conditioned by our society and upbringing to define what is beautiful and what is not? Perhaps, subconsciously, we are assigning God's definition of beauty to what our mere minds have defined it to be.

  3. Without taking much time to think through, I'd say that the case of humans is different - even unique/distinct. Because we're created in God's image, we are in a unique position - separate and distinct from the rest of creation, as well separate and distinct from all man-made creations. Humans are not to be judged on outward appearances (God looks on the heart). . . Yes, we DO judge others on our looks, etc., but it is due to our sin nature; it's not the way it's supposed to be. "Beautiful" or "ugly" people are judged that way because the one doing the judging is a sinner (as we all are). Before the Fall and after Christ's return, there won't be any such labels.


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sinner and saint. gentleman and gracious. witty and wanderer. thinker and tinker. lover and lazy. poetic and passionate. romantic and restless. complex and callious. blessed and bastard. weary and wide eyed.