Thursday, May 31, 2007
BEAUTY AND TRUTH
BEAUTY AND TRUTH
By Keith Giles
Many of you may already be familiar with the controversy surrounding the work of art known as “Piss Christ” created by Andres Serrano a few years ago.
The scandal took on a fever pitch when protesters discovered that the work had been paid for under a Government Grant to the National Endowment for The Arts. This gave detractors leverage within the political arena to demand it be removed from public galleries, boycotted and banned.
Many in the religious community also maligned the work because of its controversial subject matter, but mostly I suspect because the conservative leadership of their political party declared it to be officious and therefore, “Un-Christian”.
To me, this work is one of the most poignant and powerful works of religious art ever created. It may not be “Politically Correct”, but it certainly is “Spiritually Correct”.
The photograph depicts Jesus submerged into the artist's urine (symbolizing our filth) while on the cross. This is exactly what Jesus did when He humbled Himself, left the splendor of Heaven and submitted His life, even unto death on the cross in order to rescue us.
I can’t think of a more accurate artistic representation of the incarnation than this. What better symbol of the love of Jesus for us than that He would willingly be born into a place that reeked of our filth? Wasn’t his birth in a stable?
What better illustration of God’s love for us than that He would submit to being immersed in our filthiness, our sin, in order to liberate us?
I love Serrano’s work because I think it’s one of the most profoundly evocative works of real art that I’ve ever seen involving the Divine in collision with the corruptible flesh of mankind.
If only a Christian artist could create such a powerful and true work of art…