Friday, July 25, 2014

Art & The Book of Revelation

I have long wanted to get an artist to do some illustration work for me for the Bible study I wrote on the Book of Revelation. I do not feel the book is complete without it. For one, I really feel like I need to be able to refer to some visual at some points in the workbook. The Book of Revelation is about an encounter with a reality that is both alien and amazing, both terrifying and captivating in its wonder.

It is one of the frustrations of my life that I have little artistic talent. I've shown a modicum of success with dancing, and I love dancing in part because I get to be truly artistic. Yet when it comes to making music or drawing, I am all but handicapped. I suppose I could spend some time to learn these skills, but I am at such a deficit that I think the time it would take to get anywhere near proficiency would be gargantuan.

And so I'm waiting for the right artist to do the right kind of work at the right price. You cannot really discuss the Book of Revelation without some art accompanying it. Or so I think now. I've never encountered a more visually stimulating literary work, and I really feel that to touch the divine reality underlying the Book requires both theological analysis and some kind of artistic interpretation. Yet every time I reach out to an artist to do this work they seem unable or unwilling. I usually make it clear that their religious affiliation isn't important for them to do the work for me, but generally speaking I think this is part of their concern. That and the pieces I want are just too challenging.

I guess patience is called for in all of this, but my friends can tell you that this is not one of my primary virtues. I am confident that God wants me to get this together, now. Looking back over my book on the subject, it is pretty good. I want to revisit the book and do some refinements and a few additions but overall I think this book is the best I've written. But it will be incomplete without the art.

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