Ocean’s 11, 1944: Sorting through the Jumble of THE MONUMENTS MEN

 Picture this: It’s 1941 in Paris, and a young SS commander named Stahl has forced his way into the apartment of a French art curator to notify her that her brother was found to be working for the French Resistance and summarily shot. The curator works for the commander at a museum where Stahl oversees the city’s art collections and picks out the best pieces for shipment back to the Fatherland. He threatens the curator that if he finds her allegiance to lie with the Resistance she to … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Artists Continue Pushing The Boundaries Of What It Means To Be Human

Back in 2011, I wrote a piece about Marion Laval-Jeantet, a French artist who injected herself with horse blood plasma in order to explore "trans-species relationships." Laval-Jeantet isn't the only artist working in this area and using their body as an artistic medium, though. Here's a list of 7 "bio-artists" who explore, sometimes in disturbing ways, such topics as human enhancement, post-genderism, social concepts of beauty, and genetic manipulation. And in the process, they can challenge m … [Read more...]

ELSEWHERE: Is It Art? Or Invasion Of Privacy?

Arne Svenson's recent photo exhibit raises, yet again, the age-old question of "What is art?" Svenson took photos of people living in the luxury condo across the street from his place without their knowledge or awareness -- or, as he put it, "[they] don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs." While the photos don't reveal identities, his neighbors nevertheless feel like some sort line has been crossed. … [Read more...]

The Problem With Writing Off ‘Un-Christian’ Art

"It is in the mind of Christ that Christians possessing the indwelling Holy Spirit can search the riches of art, even art that doesn't line up with our theology." Because of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, Christians have a great and oft-neglected ability to appreciate the wonderful aesthetics found in this world. There seems to be a divine imperative to find beauty in created things, and like all human longings, this artistic inclination finds fulfillment through life in Christ. The world, marred … [Read more...]

The Kiddy Pool: MoMA’s “Century of the Child” Exhibit

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.In their book of literary criticism Utopian and Dystopian Writing for Children and Young Adults, Carrie Hintz and Elaine Ostry describe Romantic perceptions of childhood in which childhood is viewed as “utopian, a space and time apart from the corruption of everyday adult life” (5). The editors further state, “To the Romantics and their heirs, children were innocent and … [Read more...]

What Memes Mean: What If Memes Were Art?

Each Wednesday in What Memes Mean, Kirk Bozeman questions the significance, humor, and subtexts of viral videos, memes, and other Internet fads.An interesting video titled Are LOLCats and Internet Memes Art? was recently posted on the Idea Channel, a PBS-affiliated YouTube venture. Host Mike Rugetta posits that with Internet memes “people are creating images and sharing them with strangers for the purpose of communicating their personal experiences… That, my friends, is art, plain and simp … [Read more...]

Eat Your Vegetables: "The Ambassadors"

High-brow Cultural Vegetable of the Week: The Ambassadors (Hans Holbein, 1533)Vegetable Equivalent: Any vegetable grown in and exported from FranceNutritional Value: A reminder of how we use art to stave off deathRecommended Serving Size: Five good minutes actually looking at the thingIn 1533, King Henry VIII of England married his second wife Anne Boelyn, creating an international furor. He had gotten Archbishop Thomas Cranmer to annul his first marriage against the Pope's wishes, and … [Read more...]

Christian Appreciation of "Secular" Music

I love music. I have a larger than average collection of it. The rapid growth of the internet with regard to music has opened my eyes to a wealth of thoughtful song writers who produce beautiful music. I think good music, "Christian" or "secular" is worth celebrating and consequently Jason and I recently launched Grace Notes: a weekly column exploring signs of common grace in the world of music. If we really believe that God created all things, then appreciating beauty is a Christian issue.I … [Read more...]