Monday, April 19, 2010

Pagan influences

Throughout the ages, Christians have, whether purposely or coincidentally, borrowed elements from pagan cultures in both their art and sometimes, doctrine. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, depending on how you view it. I think the advantage to this is that it broadens the possibilities of art that may be created, instead of refining things to a certain set of guidelines that ultimately constrict one’s creativity and personal expression. The majority of great works of art, from the beginning of art as we know it, have been, directly or subconsciously, influenced by some other work of art. And, like it or not, Christian art has been affected by pagan art and visa versa.

Some may look at this as a hypocritical thing, but, I do not see it that way. Art is, though an individual expression, borrowed from everything around us. What our senses pull in from our surroundings trigger a myriad of reactions in our brains that can thence shoot out all kinds of new and unique works of art. Without others to influence us, art would probably end up being much less progressive. Its the same in the world of sports. When I go snowboarding, if I go by myself I might try a new trick every once in a while, but mostly I just ride along, content with where I am in my skills. But, if I ride with other people that are about the same skill level or better than me, than it presses me to try more things, and be more creative. I feel that artists, especially in the visually driven world we live in today, are driven much the same.

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