What do you think of when you hear the word ‘art?’
Positive or negative?
Positive. You start to think of paintings, textiles, sculpture that you have enjoyed. A favourite artist. You might even think of music – art does cover most creative endeavours. It should imply an employment of skill to produce an artefact that engages you aesthetically. A window to look through.
Negative. Obscure creations assembled by edgy people designed to provoke, making a mockery of beautiful objects from the past. What’s all the fuss about. Feel left out.
I’m sure you could add your own to either paragraph.
Most people like Van Gogh. His work was not considered ‘art’ in his lifetime. It didn’t fit in with what people expected, it simply wasn’t appreciated. Negative.
You probably don’t know this picture of ploughed fields. I don’t think it is famous. However, nonchalantly walking around the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam many years ago, I found myself staring at it and drawn into it. For minutes. Walked away, then was drawn back to it. It still has an unusual magnetic effect. Don’t ask me why. Can’t explain it. No other picture has had quite the same effect, but many other objects do have a degree of that effect.
I guess if you are a positive respondent to my initial question, you have developed and welcomed your ability to respond to someone’s creative work. I assume if you are a negative respondent, then tuning in to art has not been worth the effort.
But this is the thing. Whether it is music, science, painting, nature, whatever, we humans have this appreciation for harmony and beauty that feeds the soul. This is because we are made in the image of God. And the ultimate work of art is Jesus.