How artists from ARTIST ROOMS have explored relationship between religion and art. My subject is to deal with the relationship between art and religion and how that affects my beliefs and doubts. It is the last bit the doubts and unbelief, which I. Art can open us up to new ideas and beliefs, and artists can make a massive impact as role models, either in a positive or a negative manner. Because art.
Andy Warhol grew up in a Byzantine Catholic household. His parents, Andrej and Julia Warhola, passionately adhered to their ancestral Slavonic language and religion — attending Catholic mass and keeping to the byzantine religious calendar, celebrating Christmas on 7 January. Despite being openly homosexual Warhol would remain a devout Catholic throughout his life and regularly attended mass. Many of his late works incorporated religious imagery and slogans such as his final series of paintings The Last Supper series which was also his largest series of religious-themed works.
Prior to The Last Supper series Warhol created a series of silkscreened black and white paintings of images taken from advertisements, diagrams, maps, and illustrations in newspapers and magazines. In Christian belief, the Lamb of God was sacrificed to redeem humanity from the original sin of Adam and Eve. The use of religious symbolism in contemporary art has often been a contentious issue.
The duo has distinguished themselves from many contemporary artists for their confrontational questioning of religion. In the early s the artist duo began to employ the crucifix in their works, and have continued to do so, while also making reference to Islam and multiple faiths in works as Faith Drop The use of religious iconography as a protest against religion, and in defence of a secular society, has provoked public outrage and accusations of blasphemy.
A church has certain magic and mystery for a child.
It still shows in how I arrange things. Mapplethorpe was celebrated, and often criticised, for his images of the male nude were the influence of Catholicism is at its most pronounced. Mapplethorpe revelled in the beauty of the flesh and his work suggests that he found both a form of liberation and a connection to the spiritual is these erotic works. Mapplethorpe was reticent to name other photographers as an influence on him but openly acknowledged the influence of renaissance artist Michelangelo and neo-classical references are commonplace in his work.
The influences of the video artist Bill Viola are also difficult to pin-point in relation to his peers but the theatricality of his works has led to comparisons with the Baroque, a movement much associated with the Catholic Church. This suggests to me that at best we are able to see or otherwise experience only a portion of what is there.
In other words a limited truth. Ah yes you might say this is why we require to have the truth revealed to us by God through his son Jesus Christ. The problem, for me, however remains. We are obliged to process this revealed information through our limited consciousness. Furthermore if we are to believe in the idea of revelation when did it first occur? Is it limited to Christianity?
Or did it begin with earlier, what we may call, more primitive religions? The only sure revelation I think occurs as a result of discovery, using our limited human intellectual and intuitive abilities, abilities which are of course ultimately a gift from God.
I believe furthermore that God intends this voyage of human discovery. What I am saying is I believe that the development of rational thought, of language, philosophy, religion and the sciences began with an ability to draw and paint pictures, to create images of what was perceived.
Art, Religion, Belief and Unbelief
I could bore you on this theme for hours, but I will say merely that these ideas gave me considerable problems with the traditional Christian faith in which I was brought up as a child. In spite of the worries this view gave me regarding my faith I never lost my belief in the overwhelming presence of a beneficent God, though I have never been able to anthropomorphise God as seems to be the position of the Bible and the liturgy.
Two main planks support the strength of my belief in God. One is from my scientific studies, which reveal, in the scientific sense of the word, a chaotic Chaos describes evolving systems, not completely predictable, but not random, intentional, obeying rules of probability formation of galaxies, economic development, weather, demographics of all living things yet ordered and evolving universe. I find it very difficult to accept that the extraordinarily beautiful wonders that continue to be revealed through discovery, and the order and elegance we see in our universe all came about as the result of pure chance.
Rational thought, quite apart from belief tells me there is an intentional creator and controller who for me is God. The same rational thinking however suggests that if I were able to see God I would not be seeing a being in human form. I find it impossible to imagine the form, which God takes, but feel that a human one is unlikely, even although I know that we are taught that we were made in God's image.
Art, Religion, Belief and Unbelief by Nigel Dwyer
My personal view is that it could be closer to the truth to say we were, like the rest of creation, made in Gods imagination, and even this I'm sure may be to anthropomorphise too much. The second support for my very shaky belief is experience; especially my observation of the power of prayer.
During my thirty five years as a hospital doctor, on more than one occasion, I was privileged to witness miracles These were cases where formal medicine or surgery had proved totally inadequate for the needs of a very sick patient who in spite of this returned to reasonable health, the only extra ingredient being prayer. I shall not labour this point since I suspect that most of you here, in some way or another have enjoyed similar experiences.
Coming back to the relationship of art and religion, visual art became almost the handmaiden of early religion not least Christianity. Paintings and sculptures were used in two ways. First as a means to communicate the word of God and Jesus Christ to a largely illiterate community, It does seem that in mediaeval times the clergy really went to town with this, covering much of the wall space of their churches with vividly painted murals or with narrative carvings of bible stories.
Stained glass in the windows was used to similar effect a tradition that still continues. The inside of these churches really must have been a wonder to behold for a largely serf or peasant congregation, illuminating even transcending lives which were, probably, not only short and brutish, but also rather dull and colourless.
The other main use of visual art was to produce devotional aids. Probably this is where sculpture came into prominence. There was of course the risk that such effigies might actually be worshipped and thus be a source for idolatry. Certainly most of these objects whether carved in wood or stone were polychromatic suggesting an attempt to make them as lifelike as possible. Later on this issue became one of those all too common excuses for violent confrontation in the church.
Architecture, of course can also be art, indeed in classical and mediaeval times it was considered the primary visual art form, sculpture and painting being subservient to the extent of not much more than the decorative or educative. Certainly the soaring interiors, arches, windows and spires of the great European Cathedrals were a, non-figurative if not abstract allusion, to the greatness of an all powerful God residing in his heaven.
Belief – Essay | Tate
There is little doubt that some extraordinarily accomplished and beautiful works of art have been and continue to be inspired by a veneration and love of God and the Son he sent to save us. However some of the great ecclesiastical art is there mainly because the artist's patron happened to be a prince of the church, here one thinks of the Italian renaissance and the religious work of artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael, and to a lesser extent, Leonardo da Vinci.Beliefs Made Visible: Hindu Art in South Asia (Part 1 of 2)
So to recap very briefly I have described several different ways in which art and religion are related: First, Art as a starting point for the development of human knowledge including religion Second, Art used to communicate the content of religious holy texts Third, Art inspired by religion in our case by a love of Christ and God. Fourth, Works of art being used as devotional objects, or for the decoration of holy places. There is, I believe, another relationship, and this is to do with the similarities between art and religion.
Once again this, alone, is a large subject for debate, but I will limit myself to a short discussion of two quotations simply to make the point. First, Blaise Pascal the French seventeenth century religious philosopher and scientist, said: