Saturday, June 9, 2007

Propaganda (or Redeemed Art part 2)

A lot (but not all) of Christian art must unfortunately be termed propaganda. Propaganda is a legitimate art form so this Christian art is art; however, propaganda is usually of a lesser quality than most art, so…

Nonmodern has addressed art before, and the crucial missing element here is the aesthetic. Propaganda is concerned more with message than beauty, and often the truth of the message is lost in the substandard delivery. (It must also be said here that a lot of so-called Christian art is devoid of truth as well.) When a Christian does art it should be done well—as art. All too often the artist creates a very poor work knowing that they have a built in audience simply because it is labeled as Christian. Painting (or hiring people to paint) cookie cutter mass-produced images with gimmicky light on them is neither Christian nor Art no matter how many scripture verses are attached.

At the same time, Christians dismiss some artists because the art isn’t Christian enough. Heaven forbid a Christian waste time writing songs about life that fail to present the Four Spiritual Laws, or the Roman Road! Even worse, how dare some Christians practice their art outside the community approved Christian industry? Christian and secular are poor labels to be used on any art. Whether a piece is redeemed or not should not depend on the label, or a limited acceptable message, or the genre, or even the artist. Compare the “secular” U2 with the “Christian” Amy Grant for example. Judge art on the truth it contains and the beauty it has.

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