Book Overview & Review on ‘Getting It’ by Becky Hendrick

Book Overview & Review on ‘Getting It’ by Becky Hendrick

Art vs. God

This is my (art) tumblr where I post my own art work, ideas, reviews or commentary on art in general. I want to share my Christian standpoint about the book I reviewed. I believe it is a good book to read because it really lays the audience the foundation of art, what makes it great and how it’s definition and purpose has changed over time. It also addresses how us humans relate to the world of art. However, the more I read it, oddly enough it became more and more biblical. So please read the link to understand more about it or well just read on if you want. 

[Some thoughts]

I would like to highlight the question Can art create meaning? And also what the making of art is all about. As Hendrick claims it is ‘not for the sake of pleasure, money, self-indulgence’, but for Art’s sake. Clearly, we can see that humans turn to Art. Art here is seen as an idol or a sort of god. That when we dedicate or give our ‘offerings’ to it, it ‘feeds us back’ and ‘nourishes’ us. Another reminder that the ‘Art’ Hendrick refers to of Christianity, is that in order to appreciate art you should not be quick to judge. That we shouldn’t judge all too soon because we don’t have that immediate right just yet. Art is suddenly it’s own judge on what’s right and what’s wrong — it serves to reveal some truth. So it seems that we have this ‘provider’ that ‘sustains’ us. It is a two-way thing where we give praise, thanks, offerings, sacrifices and we receive some kind of spiritual reward. A refreshing and fulfilling purpose. It is true, art does give meaning. It is a representation of human ideologies, likes, dislikes etc. It can be political, cultural, revolutionary etc. It is a statement. It is true, God gives us meaning. God’s plan for us is based on His love for us. The reason why He created us is fueled by unconditional love. Our mission in life is to live by His standards and do His will whatever and wherever He places us in life. Therefore in all aspects, other than art, are we filled. 

Question: Did ‘Art’ come first or did ‘God’ come first?

It seems that I am treating ‘Art’ and ‘God’ as ideas or concepts. Was God inspired from Art or was Art inspired from God? 

After all, God and biblical imagery became very popular in the early periods of art movement. In ancient Jewish art, much was inspired from God or for those who rebelled, idols. If we trace back in time, it seems that the pre-historic cave paintings were about animals, people, hunting techniques etc. It was more based on what humans could see. Anyway, God was something one could not visualize. People could not even see His face because He is too holy/pure. As for the ancient Jews, they were much inspired by God to create temples, objects, ornaments for the glory of God. All the craftsmanship and skills were the gift of God. Until Christianity spread, was it then that biblical imagery became widely known. 

The issue is that did we imagine God and thus created imagery for His glory or has He been with us all this time? Perhaps we did imagine polytheistic gods that were inspired by what we have seen — the wrath of the roaring oceans and the uncontrollable rage of fires. But if there is a God who created everything since the beginning of time, and if He really inspired us… then the only thing left to do is to see if the bible really is a credible and reliable source since God has spoken and gave directions for beautiful aesthetic creations from the Old Testament. This means God created us, and art was the medium in which He gave us as a gift to express ourselves, and bring glory to God. 

Did that stir up something? I hope so. I can’t write anymore because that’s where my knowledge and reasoning goes so far. 


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