Art is man joining in with God’s beautiful and pointless act of creation. It is sheer gratuity. It is utterly free and frivolous. And in this frivolity, the artist rejoices and glorifies the Creator present within, whether or not the artist knows this. He joins with God in creating the universe out of himself. Therefore art is always essentially religious, even when not explicitly so, and even without the artist’s knowledge.
And to receive a work of art, is to be drawn into this new revelation/manifestation/apocalypse of the artist and of God Himself. We see something truly new, something that cannot be seen and cannot be unseen. If we allow it, we will be drawn into the artwork and so into God.
Art has no function, and if it is for the sake of function, it is not art. It is not there to do a job, to make a point, or to communicate a message. It is pure, frivolous, creation and expression. It is inside, waiting, desiring to come out and be born. It is a child, not a robot. It is the child born of the promise and of grace, not the child of slavery and the law.
When art falls away from this calling, it is no longer art, and will become something boring and all too often ugly. And our souls will be smaller, less bright, and less open as a result.
I feel this has happened within our culture and in the Church too, in our architecture, our music, our artworks, and even our liturgies. There is far too much that reeks of our own ideas and aims, rather than the inspiration and pointless beauty of true art/worship.
What is the solution? Adore God. And if He inspires you to some art, however amateur or fine, do it, and do it for its own sake.
God bless you!
I’ve recently found my new favourite Christian musician, Fr Tansi, CFR. I bought his album recently, and just absolutely love it. It’s some of the most prayerful music I’ve ever heard. You can find his music, and how to buy it yourself, here.
God bless you!
‘Labrousse Madonna, 1918’