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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Question...

It's easy to see the Vatican is wildly inconsistent.” ~ David Clohessey

Amongst the more obscure details of church history  that clutters my brain is this doozy: At one point the Vatican removed all the penises from their nude statues.  Replaced with fig leaves I believe.  Okaaay.  I get they got prudish & decided the males would be more acceptable without their members but it gets truly bizarre because they did not throw the now useless members away.  No siree!  They catalogued & stored them!

Now what I want to know, because I'm insatiably curious, is what you all think is the meaning & purpose of the Arts?  Is it entertainment only?  Should it be beautiful?  Are there lines that shouldn't be crossed?  Should Art stay out of politics?  Where does religion fit in?  Should the vatican have left their men intact? [I am not discussing the metaphorical or allegorical aspects of this in this post! lol]


seekingmyLord said...

Whether or not the Vatican should have left the statutes as they were original created is irrelevant at this point, to me. Tis done. Personally, I am not one bothered by nudity in art in general, but much depends on the presentation.

As to the meaning and purpose of art. I think that that the highest purpose of art is cause people to reflect on God, but it seems to me that the critics who decide what is and is not great art would prefer it be self-expression only or to evoke emotional responses.

I think human nature makes it impossible to separate art, politics, and religion. Politics and religion have shaped (and reshaped) art over the centuries.

As to crossing the line, I believe that some art is just plain raunchy and in the worst taste: I once saw chairs with the seat part painted as a woman fully exposed sitting on them. I rarely blush looking at art, but once I got close enough to realize what it was, I definitely pinked...and the thought of anyone sitting on those chairs, ewww! All I could think of was the children would were at that art show with their parents. That is a line I would not cross in regards to nudity in art.

Julie B. said...

You have got to be kidding! There are just too many things I could say right now but will opt not to.

I like what Seeking said about what art should be. I've always thought art should make us ponder creativity itself and follow the logical rabbit trail about what we can surmise about the Creator if He made color, light, dark, texture, etc., and also made humans to be able to experience and appreciate beauty.

Even when I was young I was able to say, "Wow, God must really like variety - look at all the colors He made. He must love blue and green. He must be moved by beauty, because He made us to be. He likes us to ponder and think and consider." And so on.

I love rabbit trails like that, and they always take me to a (limited) place in my thinking about my Lord that brings delight and awe.

I also think art is meant to inspire awe. And if we have the ability to feel awe, the rabbit trail on that one is pretty wonderful... :)


Rapunzel said...

Men are so weird about penises, their own, anyone elses, real or mere artistic representations. I think it is a flaw in the hardwiring of their brains.

To me art sometimes inspires, sometimes shocks, sometimes appalls, sometimes amazed and occasionally bores. (that last one invariably leaves me saying to myself 'that's not Art!')

Art of any kind tends to make me think of the creator of the art, which well-worn mental path leads me to The Creator of us all.

Art is hard work. Even making something entirely crappity looking takes such an effort that I'm all the more impresses by really good work, and then awed that nothing The Creator has made is anything but Excellent. Imagine the intelligence and skill it takes to do that!