Spiritual: invisible or immaterial dimension of life and thought

Religious: referring to the World Traditions

Do religions share religious art?  I wondered about indigenous art.  The proverbial plastic tiki came to mind.  One questioner cited the recent story of Nike pulling a line of exercise wear they had designed on Samoan men’s tattooing practices.  The main objections appear to have been Samoan cultural experts had not been consulted; and if they had they would have pointed out that a honoured practice was being used as convenience clothing for women.

Geistig: spiritual, mental, emotional.  Wassily Kandinsky talked about the geistig in art and it is generally translated as ‘spiritual’.

Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin examined mainstream artists in the institute of art.  She began with Andy Warhol who was raised in a Byzantine Catholic Family and remained observant all his life.  Does his repeated images show the influence of the iconostasis?  His work is reverent while others outside of religious belief is angry.  Sometimes the artist without faith can do the better job, because they are not constrained by belief and practice and reveal new insight.

Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ was examined again.  Twice in two weeks.  What is it with this work?  It remains offensive to religious believers who want to deface it.  Thus religious believers contribute to the humiliation of the Christ.  The crucifix is baptised in urine like cloth being prepared by the fuller.  This image of execution is shown in a beautiful golden light which is also part of god’s degradation and immersion into the world.

I wondered about Chris Ofili’s Upper Room series where Christ and his disciples are portrayed as macaque monkeys at the point of raising their cups.  Do these images with their richness of colour create a new mythology and symbolism?  Interesting.  The one who has dipped in the same bowl as me will betray me.  Christ’s betrayer becomes Anyone and Everyone.

The artist creates a bigger story, looking for order.  The narrative remains in the mind, no matter how hard you didn’t believe!

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