Thursday, March 24, 2011

There is something that depresses me.

St.Peter Paschasius, Bishop and Martyr.

This is it: The inability of so many modern people to see beauty in humanity beyond sex. It just baffles me. You can think of this as a continuation of my last post on art. Well, what I've been trying to say without saying is that for so many people, the human body is a thing for use. A thing to be desired, a thing to be used as one uses clothes or shoes. But, humanity is more than the body. Humanity is the soul as well. The exterior is not all there is to man, and to focus on it is to loose the beautiful truth of what man is: A summation of God's creation, a unity of divine and created goods. The mortal nature of animal and the immortal nature of God, the qualities of the animal, the angel, and God are joined together in man.The instincts of the animal, the intellect of the angels and the will of God, all together in one. That's what makes man special. Each soul is individual, created of nothing, totally and completely special. Basically, it's a really, really high anthropology, and anthropology is more than just skin and nails and teeth. Man is beautiful because man has his origin and end in God, his purpose is to live for God. There is a beauty in the existence of the least and most wretched human being that does not exist among all the other created goods on earth.

This is how I see people. This IS humanity for me. So it really discourages me to see people who cannot see this, people who can't fathom that man is more than just his actions, his ideas, his physical appearance. I think this is partly why people don't get my drawings. The other part is beauty.

Beauty comes from God. I think it's obvious that beauty is more than just physical appearance. Invisible, divine truths are beautiful, the virtues are beautiful, that which is harmonious, integrated, in union and concordance it beauty. Do you realise a similarity in those? Those are the attributes of God. God is in perfect harmony, there ebeing no dischord within him nor come from him.('God is not the author of confusion'.) God is perfect simplicity and unity, he is without composition, each person of the Trinity dwells in inseparable union with each other. The two natures of Christ are in perfect unity, God is in union with his Bride, the church, and with the soul of each individual Christian, provided they are in grace. So, I suppose one could say that that which has its origin in or is in accordance with the attributes of God, that is beautiful.

So, if you want to depict beauty, you have those as a starting point. That's what I want to communicate with my pictures, even the secular pictures. Humanity, all creation, is beautiful, and it's beautiful because it has it's origin in and exists in accordance with God. That's why the base, the sinful, and the diabolical are not beautiful. But, like I said, the greater part of humaniy doesn't live with this in mind. Hence it is, that they have to substitute something else in the place. So the idea of 'beauty' is often replaced by sex. And simply put, that's the lense that most people see my pictures through. Which is why I'm frustrated with the websites I show it on. I'm trying to depict beauty, people see something entirely different.

My pictures of people are more than just prettiness. I don't draw people, places, or events because they're 'Pretty'. I draw them because they're beautiful. Adam and Eve are not a pretty couple, they're an icon of the beauty of salvation history, of the goodness in which God created them, which was lost by man and restored in the man Christ Jesus. That's a lot more beautiful than my little picture, and it's a bigger concept than I could ever hope to picture. The Assumption is not a pretty picture, it's a sign of the beauty of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, of the purity of her life, her most pure soul being preserved from all sin. Of the simplicity of her life, lived with total obedience to the God who took flesh of her. So it was that God crowned her with the highest diadem of heaven, she whom he had clothed from her beginning with a vesture of salvation and adorned her soul with Justice, as a spouse decorated for her husband with fine jewels.

Now, ending this too long series of posts, I suppose I should not get frustrated. We live in a 'post-Christian' world, and even that Christianity was often without much substance. But, it does nothing to help me, because from the viewpoint that is opposed to the idea of beauty that I have, its from this one that my pictures are ALWAYS criticised. Part of me just wants to say 'If only you knew!' It's sad, even some of my fellow Catholics criticise my pictures from this point, often with good but still misguided intentions.

Part I

Part II

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