bust comp

This is a bust of a girl I picked up at the ARC for 8 bucks.  As soon as I saw her on the shelf, I new I wanted to do this to her.  I think she’s beautiful.  The face painted onto this bust is a recreation of the painting “La Catrina” by artist Sylvia Ji.  Ji paints beautiful portraits of seductive women sometimes with the facial treatments you see in the “after” picture of the bust.


When I was a younger artist, I struggled with artwork of this nature.  Not because I didn’t like it, but because I did.  As a Christian, what was okay for me to like?  You may think this a stupid question- or that I over-thought something of little importance.  I can see how you may think that…


For me, art is one of the most important things.  And because I have willingly placed myself under the authority of God, I really thought it necessary to wrestle with these questions:  What is art?  Is there such a thing as Christian art?  Should I be a Christian artist?  The last one I had little control over (unless I never wanted to create anything again).  But those other ones…they got me pretty good.


I learned that it is not healthy to place the label “Christian” in front of anything.  A Christian is a person- it is one who has surrendered self to God through His Son- Jesus, the Christ.  I think that label has started more careers than it should’ve and killed even more still.


You know what else?

I was afraid that Christianity meant boring.  I was afraid that if I was an artist that was to portray my faith through my work, it would have to have blatant religious symbols- like crosses, or crowns of thorns, or smiling people, or Jesus himself (the blond hair blue-eyed Jesus version everyone paints).  Is there truth there?  Maybe. 

I shouldn’t say that…those things have truth to them.  Maybe I’m just tired of seeing them everywhere.  Isn’t God so much bigger than that?  Isn’t he still here?  Our God is a God of mystery- and he is ever-working.  I see His fingerprints on His creation.  His truths are everywhere.


Jesus came to testify to the truth (John 18:37).  In light of that, it is important to seek the truth in what we see.  Sometimes it can be very hard to look at- so for many of us, we choose to look for truth in prettier places like air-conditioned rooms or in paintings of houses with nice landscaping. Ultimately, this leads to smaller living.  Those things can be beautiful, but a partial truth is no truth at all.




1 Response to “labels.”

  1. February 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    I’m not sure I can appreciate the facial treatment adequately. You’ll need to educate me. But I really appreciate the thoughts the experience stirred up in you. Beauty in all its varied forms is a gift, and the beauty of a woman, regardless of facial treatments, is an especially great gift. Unfortunately, we’ve mishandled that gift all too frequently. An artist who handles it well, with due respect, and the mystery it deserves, is truly a gifted artist. Those who can appreciate such beauty without silly man-imposed filters are recipients of such gifts.

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February 2009
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