Saturday, May 19, 2007

Art and the Artist

I was looking through the blogs on my news reader and came across an interesting article on the value of art entitled "Low-Brow Thoughts on High-Brow Art" posted by Justin Taylor on his blog, Between Two Worlds. It concerned this painting which just sold for nearly $73 million:

An interesting discussion ensued. As I contemplated the value of art I was struck by a parallel between art created by humans and the artistry of creation by the Creator. I arrived at the conclusion that the value of art is recognized by understanding its context and posted my thoughts in the comments. I'll reiterate them here for your consideration:

My take is that it's all about context.

If you hang this painting on a blank wall next to a Where's Waldo and don't give me an inkling that this is supposed to be important somehow, then I might give it a glance and head straight for the Where's Waldo.

If I walk into a classroom with a bunch of scribble pictures on the wall, I'll look for the name of my kid and admire the one he did. If you don't tell me which one he did, I'd never give it a second glance.

If I didn't have any idea that we were created in the image of God, I wouldn't bother to look for Him in anyone. God is our context.

This painting is worth little if anything without the history of the genre and knowledge of the artist, which is its context.

The difference between the high brows and the low brows is knowledge of the context. The difference between Christians and non-Christians is the knowledge of the Artist that created us.

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