Duality is the mark of a lot of great art and it is one of the things missing, for instance, in a lot of Christian art. There is no tension. You have this great tradition of worship, and music worship, which is, you know, awe-inspiring in the Christian Churches. But music that expresses a personal journey and an attempt to wrestle truth to the ground, we don’t see much of that in Christianity. There is a fear of duality…. You’ve got this one half of us that is going, ‘Yeah I want this music to do something positive in a very negative world.’ But on the other hand, you want to be honest and own up to your earthly desires and your confusions that everybody has.
The Arts QuotesSubscribe
[Gene] Siskel described his job as ‘covering the national dream beat,’ because if you pay attention to the movies they will tell you what people desire and fear. Movies are hardly ever about what they seem to be about. Look at a movie that a lot of people love, and you will find something profound, no matter how silly the film may be.
Imperfection and incompleteness are the certain lot of all creative workers. The life story to be told of any creative worker is therefore by its very nature, by its diversions of purpose and its qualified success, by its grotesque transitions from sublimation to base necessity and its pervasive stress towards flight, a comedy.
The arts, cultural endeavors, enjoyment of the beauty of both God’s creation and of man’s creativity — these creative gifts have in our day been relegated to the bottom drawer of Christian consciousness, despised outright as unspiritual or unchristian. This deficiency has been the cause of many unnecessary guilt feelings and much bitter fruit, taking us out of touch with the world God has made, with the culture in which we live, and making us ineffectual in that culture.
Art, in a sense, is a revolt against everything fleeting and unfinished in the world. Consequently, its only aim is to give another form to a reality that it is nevertheless forced to preserve as the source of its emotion. In this regard we are all realistic, and no one is.
Art is born and takes hold wherever there is a timeless and insatiable longing for the spiritual.
If our lives are truly “hid with Christ in God,” the astounding thing is that this hiddenness is revealed in all that we do and say and write. What we are is going to be visible in our art, no matter how secular (on the surface) the subject may be.
What is an artist? A provincial who finds himself somewhere between a physical reality and a metaphysical one… It’s this in-between that I’m calling a province, this frontier country between the tangible world and the intangible one which is really the realm of the artist.
My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one’s self of the chains that shackle the spirit.
Beauty is not only a terrible thing, it is also a mysterous thing. There God and the Devil strive for mastery, and the battleground is the heart of men.