Friday, April 10, 2009

Way of the Cross-Interview with Anna Kocher Part 4

Jesus body is removed from the cross

What role do you think art has in the church?
I could go on for ages about this and never really get to it. Probably the most significant thing for me is that God created us in His image. The fact that He created us, and that we're somehow like Him, means that it's a part of our identity and a part of his intent for us that we be creative as well. I guess art is meant to communicate God's nature to one another, to worship Him, and to express and reveal the truth about ourselves and life itself, and in so doing get down to the heart of the matter, which for me is Christ. There are so many different ways of going about all of these things so I hesitate to limit it. I would hope that art in the church would be seen the same way something like accounting might be seen: necessary. It shouldn't be glorified over other gifts or modes of expression, but it should be used and supported as one of the many necessary parts of the body. I would also say that I think we need to be careful of putting heavy parameters around the ways we worship or enter into and articulate our faith. We shouldn't say that we learn and we sing and we maybe look at a painting or two on the wall and that's the extent of our interaction with God and church and our spiritual lives. There are myriad ways to express and communicate with God and one another and we should attempt to do that authentically ourselves and to create space for those around us to do so as well. What would the church be if it wasn't just the preachers preaching, the musicians doing the music, maybe an artist or craftsperson contributing something here or there, but everyone bringing the offering of themselves and their unique insights and abilities and expressions to the church body and to God? That would be exciting.

Do you think there is such a thing as Christian art? Do you hope your works will be defined this way?
I think anyone who is a Christian and creates art that comes from deep inside of them, art that is hard-won and not just trite and thoughtless, is making Christian art. I think you can have paintings that are of Christian themes or images that aren't really helpful or valuable. As long as "Christian art" means legitimate artwork created by an authentic Christian person, I would hope that my work would be defined that way. If "Christian art" means stereotypical, tired pictures of the same old thing created without any conviction or integrity (which is, unfortunately, what a lot of people expect) then I would hope to avoid such a categorization.

Who are your favorite artists? Any Christian artists?
Kathe Kollwitz, Cy Twombly, Alice Neel, Wayne Theibaud, Georgio Morandi, Caravaggio, Jenny Saville, Jerome Witkin (I believe he may be a Christian...) and too many others to mention. Christian artists would be Bruce Herman, Makoto Fujimura, Ed Knippers

If you are interested in Christian art, visit WhiteStoneGallery, specializing in contemporary art expressing faith.

If you missed the introduction to the Way of the Cross and artist Anna Kocher, click here!

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