You Can Always Go On

One of the more interesting resources on the Internet is the collected interviews at Paris Review. It is a sixty-year archive of hundreds of long form conversations with poets and writers, like Mary Karr, R Crumb, Billy Collins, Robert Frost, Jack Kerouac, and Czeslaw Milosz, among many, many others. One of the more provocative interviews [Read More...]

Death, Wine, & Cheese

The artist exists in an awkward relationship to her audience. She labors for many months, perhaps several years, to produce an exhibition of paintings to present to the public. She sacrifices time with her family and friends, isolating herself emotionally, intellectually, and physically. She reads, thinks, writes, reflects on her work, often questioning, doubting, and, [Read More...]

The Idolatry of the Penultimate

What do looking at paintings have to do with what most evangelicals understand by “engaging,” “transforming,” and “redeeming” culture? Not much. It is no secret that North American evangelicals regard politics to be the primary means by which God is active in the world. And many evangelicals have recently become convinced that “culture” (i.e., films, [Read More...]

God’s Grace & Grammatical Violence: A Meditation on Jonah 4:1-4

In February I offered a reflection on Jonah 4: 1-4 at a chapel at Knox Seminary. I explored our anger at God’s grace and our refusal to allow God to be the subject of our existential sentences. Watch it here. Video Platform Video Management Video Solutions Video Player [Read more...]

Life and Death in the Artist’s Studio

In a few weeks I’ll be participating in the sixth annual Mockingbird Conference in New York City. The mission of Mockingbird Ministries is to connect the Christian faith to the day-to-day realities of life. And culture in all its diverse forms is the means by which we life out our daily lives. This year’s conference [Read More...]

Go in Peace: A Holy Week Meditation on Vocation

The confrontation between Elisha and Naamen in 2 Kings 5 is one of the more provocative texts in all of the Scriptures. In this short chapel devotion given at Knox Theological Seminary in December, I reflect on perhaps the most difficult and often-overlooked aspects of this story ( v. 15-19), in which Elisha blesses Naamen’s vocation. [Read More...]

Space

A painting is not its interpretation. At the moment it encounters me in the art museum, a painting exists for me. But it does not need me. It exists for me in a particular way, a way that challenges my control, rendering me receptive (i.e., passive). T.S. Eliot once said that the meaning of a poem exists [Read More...]

“You Will Make Bells & I Will Paint Icons”

Rublev Fasts Andrei Tarkovsky’s epic film, The Passion of Andrei Rublev (1966) is a Lenten film par excellence. It depicts the spiritual struggle of one of Russia’s great cultural heroes, the painter of icons Andrei Rublev (1360-1430), who is most famous for his stunningly original, The Holy Trinity (c. 1420). Although I wrote about the [Read More...]

The Poetry of an Erased de Kooning

  One of the more notorious and inexplicable works of art of the last sixty years is Robert Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing (1953) in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Influenced by a resurgence of interest in the work of the Dada artist Marcel Duchamp and performance art, Rauschenberg [Read More...]

The Futility of Painting

  Yesterday my review of a new monograph on the Spanish realist painter Antonio López García, entitled “Jousting the Quince Tree,” appeared over at Books & Culture online. Although I was aware of his work, my respect for López García  increased dramatically in the process of studying his paintings. In addition, I stumbled upon a documentary film, [Read More...]


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