Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Monday, January 30, 2012


Xtian art

Brian Sherwin brought up the topic that their might be a bias against Christian subject matter in the modern art market.
And "minority religions" might get special preference.

I've studied art in a somewhat typical American education system. I'd consider my Art education, somewhat typical for a Bachelor degree.
That means I've been exposed up the wazoo to Christian art. High school, private lessons and University taught me about Christian art more so than any other type. The Art history books I own & read now are dominated by examples of Christian art.
Even at the University level the time we spent examine and discussing Christian themed art dominated everything else. The time we spent examining Islamic artist, or Buddhist art was miniscule. I could not tell you an Islamic artist off the top of my head. I read somewhere that there are as many images of Buddha as there are Jesus, if not more. But i'd be hard pressed to name a specific Buddhist sculpture or artist.
The only religious art that comes close to the level of exposure in my education is Pagan Art, Greek mythology, sculpture and paintings.
But Christian art dominated. The greatest art created in the western culture is often Christian themed. The sculptures of David, the Sisteen Chapel ceiling, the last judgment, the last supper, the Baldichino, the domed architecture.
Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, Lenoardo, Rubens, VanGogh, Guaguin and many of the greatest artist agreed upon mad eChristian themed art. These are the standards everything and everyone else is measured to or rebelled against. Christian art dominates our art education system, research material, and museums in all of Western culture.
So perhaps I am jaded when it comes to modern Christian art because i'm so used to it. Perhaps, I am hypercritical. I tend to see the cliche's, the hypocrisy, and the politics & propaganda easier because the standard has been set so high. It takes A LOT for modern Christian art to impress me and most does not deliver.
So maybe i'm more open to Islamic or Eastern art simply because it's unexplored. It's foreign, exotic, and the undiscovered country. It may have just as much cliche, hypocrisy and propaganda but even that is new to me.
So maybe I am biased. But until art of other religions is on equal footing, it's going to happen.

One thing i have noticed is modern Pagan art is usually filed under "Fantasy" & made a 2nd class art citizen down in the ranks of illustration, comics and record covers. There is great skill in some of this Pagan art. But often it's not taken seriously and really… if you think about it…. if their spiritual beliefs are "fantasy" then couldn't you file all spiritual art as fantasy as well.

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