The concept that art is an essence is an inspiring one. It encourages artists to explore into their ability to create and to define the world around them; it’s as if the artist is trying to free a form of life from the canvas. The author of this chapter, Makoto Fujimura, explores the idea of how the artist should focus less on the “why” and more on the “what”: how an object can be depicted at its very roots and still hold some truth. This is why he enjoys abstract work: he isn’t tied to representing subjects as they would be naturally; he feels the freedom to explore the interplay of color and shape and let God speak through His work.
“Splendor for Kayama”
“Are you trying to depict God through your work?” And the answer is “No.” I cannot depict God and I do not need to. Christ is the ultimate and only true fusing of art and form. But because of Christ, we are free to create works on the foundation of Christ. We are free to be his creatures, living under the sovereign rule and power of the Creator.” ( p. 297)
I find a lot of truth in this quote,and I appreciate the idea that instead of trying to depict God, artists should use their talents to speak of His story. The same can be said for the stained-glass windows of Cathedrals; are they icons, or are they merely depictions of God’s story? The answer is the latter.
(One of my favorite pieces I’ve done; a non-objective mixed-media piece depicting the season of Winter.)
I prefer abstract over realism, though I like to keep my own works somewhere in the middle. I’d rather have a piece recognizable than a complete enigma, but I also love to explore color and movement in its simplest forms. To me, strict realism loses a bit of that spiritual essence that we were given; it becomes more of a matter of trying to painstakingly recreate God’s creation and not taking the time to make our own creation from within ourselves.
It Was Good: Making Art to the Glory of God