Category: Art

Jim Carrey and the Need for Living Color

When I think of Jim Carrey, indelible images from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective and Dumb and Dumber immediately spring to mind. So it’s a bit jarring to encounter him today, a couple decades later (Jim Carrey is 55 years old?!), musing on the nature of art and life in the brief documentary I Needed Color. In the course of the video, however, Carrey lets us know that these two sides—the comic and the…  [more]

Moord Velden: Portraits of Christians Caught in Chicago’s Crossfire

Editor’s note: This is adapted from Keri Wyatt Kent’s introduction to the Moord Velden project. The full text and all of photographer Michael VanDerAa’s images can be found here. moord (plural moorden, diminutive moordje n) 1. murder velden (plural form of veld n) 1. fields An area just under five square miles bordered by two major expressways on Chicago’s south side, Roseland was…  [more]

Special Revelation, General Revelation, and Chronicle’s Library of Luminaries

I’ve been an admirer of Coco Chanel’s ambition, designs, and other aspects of her life story, so when I found out Chronicle Books had a series of illustrated biographies called Library of Luminaries and that Coco Chanel was one of them, I was all in. Chanel’s biography was released this past August along with one on Frida Kahlo, joining books on Jane Austen and Virginia Woolf. Nina Cosford…  [more]

What Afrofuturism has in common with Christian social justice

In a galaxy far away exists a world where black people live on the other side of the moon, travel from planet to planet via spaceship and transcend the boundaries of art and culture. That may sound silly to some, but for others this fantastic vision of a distant world offers a hopeful counterpoint to reality here on Earth. What I am describing is Afrofuturism, a movement aimed to reconfigure minds in the way we think…  [more]

A “new” Rembrandt and the art of creation

As someone who was steeped in Christian tradition, Rembrandt must have known that he never really “created” anything. His calling was to capture the works of Another. Whether he was painting a fellow human being, a tableau based on a Bible story or the intricate lace on a woman’s dress, Rembrandt surely knew that his paintings were always derivative — copies of things Someone else had made.…  [more]

The Biblical case for artful infrastructure

Infrastructure — the stuff all around us that we almost don’t see — is usually designed by engineers to solve a problem (traffic, sewage, transporting electricity) in a logical, reliable and cost-effective manner. Beauty isn’t usually part of the brief for infrastructure projects. Just look at the Piranesian hells otherwise known as interstate highways. But could infrastructure be beautiful?…  [more]

CSLewisDoodle: pitching a tent in YouTube culture

You’ve seen them before: the illustrated YouTube videos that condense TED Talks or leadership books into four-minute, hand-drawn illustrations. Now there’s a new voice (or rather old) on this scene: that of C. S. Lewis. CSLewisDoodle takes the Christian apologist’s essays and illustrates them with hand-sketched illustrations. Since its inception in 2012, the YouTube phenomenon has gained 12,600…  [more]

La Sagrada Familia and God as unhurried client

Barcelona’s grand cathedral, La Sagrada Familia, is finally nearing completion after 132 years of construction, and the very thing that is right about this points to much of what’s wrong about architecture and Western culture. The architect of this amazing structure, Antonio Gaudí, died in 1926 after being hit by a streetcar. Gaudi famously said of the seemingly endless construction process that…  [more]

Is Dismaland as distorted as Disneyland?

“Wish.” “Dream.” “Believe.” These words defined our obligatory family vacation to Disney World a few years ago, largely because they appeared on endless signage, were incorporated into nearly every show and, I suspect, were pumped into our hotel room via barely audible whispers as we slept. So to prove that the cult of Disney had not indoctrinated us, we began using these words as…  [more]

Parsing the Parallel Bible

“When the reader hears strong echoes of his or her own life and beliefs, he or she is apt to become more invested in the story.” That line, taken from Stephen King’s On Writing, is a timeless truth that applies equally well to nearly every form of storytelling. But it is also a potentially dangerous truth when applied to the story of the Bible, authored by God Himself. Such is the inherent struggle…  [more]

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