Saturday, January 17, 2009
I read an essay by Bruce Ellis Benson today at one of my favorite sites The Matthew's House Project. The piece is titled How Not to be an Artistic Whore. It is a basic discussion of how one's philosophy of art interacts with faith. I haven't spent much time with this question since college. I used to spend hours fashioning my ideas about myself, my God and my art. I used to be quite opinonated on such ideas as "Christian Art" versus "Art which happened to made by people who are Christians."
I find very little of this semantic nonsense useful in my current life as an educational whore. But these ideas still fascinate me. Benson breaks down a character from Chaim Potok’s novel My Name is Asher Lev. Asher Lev is a Hasidic Jew who a young age shows himself to be a gifted artist. Art is forbidden by his community and is seen as creating false idols. The book is a story of that tension. I put this book on my reading list and look forward to wrestling with these bygone ideas.