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RED PILL Christian art by KATA

Christian Art Relevant as a Rock?

My first excursion to the Christian Bookstore was a big let down. I expected to go to the art section and walk through hallowed halls hearing the faint songs of angels as I gazed on Rembrandt prints and other gicled imagery of Christ in each stage of his life... The annunciation- the angel appears to Mary and the splendor of this visitor from another dimension fills the room as in Van Eyck’s imagination. God I LOVE this painting! Those wings are like a butterfly in iridescence! The floor has tiles engraved with scenes which foreshadow the life of the coming Messiah. THIS is art! Back to my fantasy Christian bookstore. Amidst the masterful pieces I expected to see Rembrandt’s The Raising of Lazarus. Where Jesus stands at the precipice of the grave and bellows out “Come Forth!”. Every molecule charges up with life and Lazarus is ejected from the pit. Eye witnesses are blown backwards. Rewind the tape..... That wasn’t my experience. No, the first time I entered a Christian bookstore it was as if a trap door had scuttled me away to the stage of Willy Wonka. Rainbows and lollipops beset me. Chocolate rivers of baby kittens floated by.... Happy children’s faces, shepherds and rivers graced mugs bracelets and baby wipes. and of-course--- (new to twentieth century art)--Hand painted rocks reminded me "Jesus is my ROCK".

Christian ART MUST have shepherds and happy Jesus'

Theories OF ART_ and where kata fits in (more images coming for article soon)

📷 JESUS RESCUES A YOUNG BOY FROM THE MAN BOY LOVE ASSOCIATION MEETING by Kata Billups Mainstream thinking about an artist in Eastern culture is that one has inherent value only IF he or she expresses beauty. But WAIT! most of my work is not considered beautiful. It may be comical or (to use a horribly overused term- “whimsical”) it can be serious, thought provoking, sarcastic, etc. So…does my work have value to the majority of people in my culture? Possibly not. Does it have value in God’s perspective? We will explore that question in this chapter along with other questions. One of the problems with the idea that...' art has value because of beauty' is this that is only ONE of the major PURPOSES of art throughout ALL time!!!!! These PURPOSES of art are summed up as Theories and they have these titles which I will explain one by one. The MIMETIC theory of art (think MIME) 📷 and we'll go all the way back to Plato for this one) states that the purpose of art is simply to record what is seen in reality. When I think of this theory I imagine landscape realistic paintings, still life paintings, realistic portraiture or the school of photorealism. The PRAGMATIC theory of art (which my work often fits into) states that the purpose of art is to teach or inspire the viewer in some concept or idea. This type of art can be found in church murals, illustrations, ‘propaganda’ posters, etc. Pragmatic authors desire for their works to bring abut social reform (think Charles Dickens). Charles Dickens and social Reform in England. Many documentary film makers would fit into this category. The communist poster below fits into that category. 📷 The ROMANTIC theory of art asserts that the reason for art is to move people emotionally. Many of the work of the Romantic Landscape painters of the late 1990’s aspired to this idea (think -the Pre-Raphaelites.) 📷 La Belle Dame Sans Merci by Sir Frank Dicksee “It might be said that if the reality of mimetic art lies in the material and social world, and the truth of pragmatic art lies in the moral, ethical and spiritual realms, then emotionalist theories take as their universe the inner landscape of the individual’s emotions and feelings.” (quote: Richard L. Anderson, pg. 211). The Romantic movement began in the late eighteenth century. I’d say that in current culture, rock concerts, recorded background music in elevators, even television, dancing and movies stir up emotion in the participant and could be included in this theory of art. The FORMALIST Theory of art. This is the latest philosophy or theory of art and is a reaction against the other forms of art. A formalist will often paint abstractly (and so throw off the ties of imitation of anything in nature.. This philosophy also considers pragmatic art to be “preachy”.It diverges from the emotionalists in certain ways as well in asserting that “art is for arts sake” not to conjure up an emotional response. Formalist deny that art has any purpose but that of making the art. 📷 White on White, 1918. Museum of Modern Art, New York. photo by J. Howe MODERN ART fits into this category- and is such a conundrum for most - I will recommend a book for those who want to laugh at and understand the ‘rook’ that modern art is- I recommend The Painted Word by Tom Wolfe. Here are snippets from a review by KIRKUS REVIEW (an internet site) “Wolfe's premise is simple: since WW II modern art has been characterized by the primacy of Theory. ..... The essential principal which has informed contemporary art, says Wolfe, is flatness. Three-dimensional effects are pre-modern; in fact they've been around since the Renaissance. Ugh! How to preserve "the integrity of the picture plane" and the disputes it engendered among the culturati were worthy of the how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin debates of medieval scholasticism. Tout le monde, that is to say, a handful of collectors, curators and critics, had a field day. The public (the public?) was left light years behind, gawking. ...his very just observation that contemporary art has, by and sadly large, been smugly elitist, its market and its value defined by a small clique. Why is my work ‘dissed’ by Christians BUT not by the gen X young people? Like I said, the mainstream thinking about an artist in Eastern culture is that an artist has inherent value in that he or she expresses beauty. To most non- pondering Christians this value is paramount in that it BEAUTY ALONE suggests to them- reverence for God by admiring the beauty of His creation. So- what is an artist such as myself to do? Where does my work fit in- to the Christian art ‘scene” (maybe it does not)….? But I ask you- does my work honor God even though most of my work may not be considered particularly beautiful? What if it challenges peoples perspectives on God and Christ? What if it makes them re-think their prejudices against Christians? Is there VALUE in those factors? 📷 📷 The above painting is ‘tough’ but most of my work is principally comical or (to use a horribly overused term- “whimsical” like the painting directly BELOW). It can also be considered serious, thought provoking, sarcastic, challenging, complicated, but rarely beautiful. 📷 elvis went with priscilla to help her pick out lingerie but he was repulsed by the 'catty' shop girls in victoria's secret by Kata Billups Does my work have value to the majority of people in my culture? Maybe not. BUT does it move certain sectors of people? ABSOLUTELY! If you want proof- check out the records of my sales (over 10 thousand sales to people across the globe and many celebrity collectors to boot!) Again, I ask: Does it have value in God’s perspective? Being a “Westerner” we have talked about the Western Philosophies of art in this article. As I said, researchers and Art Historians have isolated at least four major traditional philosophies (or theories) art in our culture. I suggest a book entitled Calliope’s Sisters (A Comparative Study of Philosophies of Art) by Richard L. Anderson for in depth research on this topic. I assert that simply using beauty as the benchmark for judging all art is a big mistake. One disqualifies a much broader range of artistic experience by setting beauty as the pinnacle for viewing art. Although the inclusion of beauty may be found in all of the theories it is central to only a couple. We all have backgrounds through which we filter our experience. I ask you to look though a new filter as you read and learn. I ask you to consider the work of Kathe Kollowitz She sketched the horror and pain in the faces of victims of The Nazis in Germany. She was a dedicated Christian artist. To my knowledge, she never captured an image which could be considered beautiful. Yet her art had tremendous impact on the way people thought at the time. Ever since I began making my own art in junior high school- I’ve been driven to tell stories with my work. Stories about life. Stories which expunge the tough issues from my own life onto a canvas.. When I was a teenager I painted about homeless people, about women as toys and sex objects, about the masks we all wear, about being trapped in a bad drug trip. 📷 KATA in 1975. when I first became a Christian This is the way God built me. I take little joy in painting a beautiful landscape (although I have done it- and have pleased the clients in doing so…) I do enjoy painting and sketching the human figure however, God also “built me” to have a keen awareness of people. As my work progresses I still yearn challenge people to see the world from a different perspective. My Jesus art is arguably the most controversial because is doing exactly that. Some Christians find it uncomfortable to have a long standing representation of their Jesus challenged. They live in a Thomas Kinkade world where there is no death or sadness- only happy smiley people and little cottages with sparkley lights on in the windows and glistening snow on the ground. 📷 painting by Thomas Kinkade But they need to understand that I am not challenging that image to destroy it but to refresh it. Jesus talked about putting new wine into new wine skins. This younger generation has an entirely different experience than we have had- and a correspondingly different visual and verbal language. The new wine is the same “old truth” but it is truth for a new time and new people. 📷 The Resurrection of Christ by Paolo Veronese I often think about how during the time of Bosch there were plagues and famines and infant mortality. Death lurked around every corner. 📷 And so his new wine was “here is heaven- here is hell- choose now because this may be your last day”. That message is outdated for now.. Life spans are much longer, people rarely die as infants in the Western world. So that message translates as fear and pressuring people into heaven by threatening hell. It repulses people. And yet a few hundred years ago it was the “good news”! How can that be? It’s a simple answer. These are two different time periods and the people of each generation are the ones who will define what is the central need for them as the good news (gospel) Today I assert it is belonging. Belonging is a central element of the good news that is felt in the heart of every human being as our civilization becomes increasingly splintered apart. I also assert that healing has always been central to the good news of every era and it is being revised in our time. Hospitals are necessary and keep many people alive. But hospitals are also increasingly failing the many wounded and ill people of the world. Only a supernatural God has the answer for an incurable disease. So the message (and the supernatural power of God to bring the message to reality) that God heals the incurable aids or cancer victim is truly a gospel needed for this time. 📷 picture by Kata- taken in a Charlotte N.C. all with a live black model wearing a white Jesus mask (with some photoshopping) TITLE: Jesus Reaching out with Empathy to a Young Gay Man in the Store Window- not knowing it was a giant poster Unless we (as artists) can first feel the pain and anxiety , the fear and dreams of the younger generations we will never be able to communicate to them in relevant manners. Our work will be “old school”. It will be passed by as if it were written in a foreign language. How much attention do we give to a book written in a language which is strange to us? That is how the young people see the art of their elder’s generation. 📷 Incessant Madness by Jay Olson (a Christian artist in the Los Angeles area) I write quite about the sub culture of the Christian bookstore and Christian coffee shops. The ultimate symbol of old wine skins is the hand painted rock in many Christian bookstores which says “God is my rock”. "God is my rock" - rocks ! This archaic imagery says it all. It tells me that my generation of Christian artists (for the most part) has little to offer by way of talent, invention, and real intercourse and discussion with today’s culture. As a PS I include an e-mail from a Christian ‘dissenter to my work” (name with-held) HE found my art “un-goldly’ and states his reasoning- to which I respond…. MY DISSENTER: “I liken making art to making conversation. What is the purpose of my communication? KJV 2 Corinthians 13:10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. There are two alternatives mentioned here: building up and tearing down.” MY RESPONSE to MY DISSENTER: “this is a common conception but I don't think it's the whole story. have you read Francis Schaeffer? he writes about how Kathe Kolowitz who sketched the horrors of nazi Germany. She was a Christian and her drawings woke many people up. that was her calling. She did not want to tear down. Neither did Paul when he spoke of his killing of Christians. and yet he took time to speak of it and it is in God's Word, right? within the right context (of LOVE) we are FREE to paint or draw according to our calling and gifts.”

Weaponized ART

I also believe- this art is weaponized against human beings- due to these juxtaposed facts/ the quality of the filming is beyond beautiful- so beautiful that despite its lack of PLOT- and twisted viewpoint- it sucks one in like a vortex. Its rather like an extremely beautiful high class call girl- who likes to torture her customers by intentionally giving them all kinds of diseases- while making love to them. My last example of art beautifully done- infecting peoples minds with screwed up viewpoints are the paintings of the much revered (in art circles world wide) Balthus- His 'craft' is indisputably great. the way- the paint glides seamlessly across the surface. The way the figures are modeled in ways so subtle they almost surpass realism- YET---he appears (by his choice of composition ALONE) to have been a pedophile. look at these two works and judge for yourself... .

CHRISTIAN----art---AND ---THE----MARKET----PLACE -----OF ideas

Jesus Retched by Kata Billups 2004 This article will discuss some of the theoretical and philosophical boundaries of the artist. In later articles I will discuss whether or not the vocation of an artist can be deemed a calling. Most of the mainstream thinking about an artist in Eastern culture seems to be that an artist has inherent value in that he or she expresses beauty. To Christian this value seems paramount in that it suggests honoring and extolling God by admiring the beauty of His creation). But what is an artist such as myself to do? Where does my work fit in? Does it honor God? Most of my work may not be considered particularly beautiful. This painting directly ABOVE for instance: is one of my most controversial ... because I show Jesus vomiting. 📷 But in our culture (where people now have the average attention span of a goldfish...) I often find myself begging people to take the time to understand an artists' true motivations and the context of the narrative before judging. The narrative above--shows Jesus vomiting because little children are ganging up to attack a homeless man. So- although the first words that come to mind when someone sees this piece of my art are probably not things like “how beautiful” or “what a lovely painting” Many OTHER examples of my work are---principally comical or (to use a horribly overused term- “whimsical”). It can also be considered serious, thought provoking, sarcastic, challenging, complicated, but rarely beautiful. TITLE: John was Overly Indoctrinated into the iDea of being One with all Things and Believed Himself to be the Biological Father of the Baby Bear KATA 2014 📷 Does my work have value to the majority of people in my culture? Maybe it does not. Does it deeply move certain sectors of people? I think so. Does it have value in God’s perspective? We will explore that question in this article- along with other questions. One of the problems with the idea that art has value because of beauty is that beauty is not the only criteria which makes art “useful”. You see...the theory of aesthetics explores the factors which make art “useful” throughout all the cultures of the world. Being a “Westerner” I will be considering just the Western Philosophies of art in this book., Researchers and Art Historians have isolated at least four major traditional philosophies (or theories) art in our culture. They have been given titles which I will explain one by one. I suggest a book entitled Calliope’s Sisters (A Comparative Study of Philosophies of Art) by Richard L. Anderson for in depth research on this topic. I assert that simply using beauty as the benchmark for judging all art is a big mistake. One disqualifies a much broader range of artistic experience by setting beauty as the pinnacle for viewing art. Although the inclusion of beauty may be found in all of the theories it is central to only a couple. We all have backgrounds through which we filter our experience. I ask you to look though a new filter as you read and learn. I ask you to consider the work of Kathe Kollowitz She sketched the horror and pain in the faces of victims of The Nazis in Germany. She was a dedicated Christian artist. To my knowledge, she never captured an image which could be considered beautiful. Yet her art had a large impact on the way people thought at the time. Now I will synopsize the four main Western Philosophies of art. 1: The Mimetic-theory of art is a Greek-derived term. Think of our words “mine”: and “imitate”. This philosophy states that the purpose of art is to faithfully record what is seen in reality. When I think of this theory I imagine landscape realistic paintings, still life paintings, realistic portraiture or the school of photorealism. 2. The Pragmatic theory of art (which my art about Jesus often falls into) states that the purpose of art is mainly to teach or inspire the viewer in some concept or idea. This type of art can be found in church murals, illustrations, propaganda posters, etc. Pragmatic authors desire for their works to bring abut social reform (think Charles Dickens). Charles Dickens and social Reform in England 3. The Emotionalist Theory of art. “It might be said that if the reality of mimetic art lies in the material and social world, and the truth of pragmatic art lies in the moral, ethical and spiritual realms, then emotionalist theories take as their universe the inner landscape of the individual’s emotions and feelings. (quote: Richard L. Anderson, pg. 211). The Romantic movement began in the late eighteenth century. In current culture, rock concerts, recorded background music in elevators, even television, dancing and movies bring enjoyment to the participant. 4. Formalist Theories of art. This is the latest philosophy or theory of art and is a reaction against the other forms of art. A formalist will often paint abstractly (and so throw off the ties of imitation of anything in nature.. This philosophy also considers pragmatic art to be “preachy”. It diverges from the emotionalists in certain ways as well in asserting that “art is for arts sake” not to conjure up an emotional response. Formalist deny that art has any purpose but that of making the art. Ever since I began making my own art in junior high school- I’ve been driven to tell stories with my work. Stories about life. Stories which expunge the tough issues from my own life onto a canvas.. When I was a teenager I painted about homeless people, about women as toys and sex objects, about the masks we all wear, about being trapped in a bad drug trip. This is the way God built me. I take little joy in painting a beautiful landscape (although I have done it- and have pleased the clients in doing so…) I do enjoy painting and sketching the human figure however, God also “built me” to have a keen awareness of people. As my work progresses I still challenge people to see the world from a different perspective. My Jesus art is arguably the most controversial because is doing exactly that. Some Christians find it uncomfortable to have a long standing representation of their Jesus challenged. But they need to understand that I am not challenging that image to destroy it but to refresh it. Jesus talked about putting new wine into new wine skins. This younger generation has an entirely different experience than we have had- and a correspondingly different visual and verbal language. The new wine is the same “old truth” but it is truth for a new time and new people. I often think about how during the time of Bosch there were plagues and famines and infant mortality. Death lurked around every corner. And so his new wine was “here is heaven- here is hell- choose now because this may be your last day”. That message is outdated for now.. Life spans are much longer, people rarely die as infants in the Western world. So that message translates as fear and pressuring people into heaven by threatening hell. It repulses people. And yet a few hundred years ago it was the “good news”! How can that be? It’s a simple answer. These are two different time periods and the people of each generation are the ones who will define what is the central need for them as the good news (gospel) Today I assert it is belonging. Belonging is a central element of the good news that is felt in the heart of every human being as our civilization becomes increasingly splintered apart. I also assert that healing has always been central to the good news of every era and it is being revised in our time. Hospitals are necessary and keep many people alive. But hospitals are also increasingly failing the many wounded and ill people of the world. Only a supernatural God has the answer for an incurable disease. So the message (and the supernatural power of God to bring the message to reality) that God heals the incurable aids or cancer victim is truly a gospel needed for this time. Unless we (as artists) can first feel the pain and anxiety , the fear and dreams of the younger generations we will never be able to communicate to them in relevant manners. Our work will be “old school”. It will be passed by as if it were written in a foreign language. How much attention do we give to a book written in a language which is strange to us? That is how the young people see the art of their elder’s generation. I write quite a lot about the sub culture of the Christian bookstore and Christian coffee shops. The ultimate symbol of old wine skins is the hand painted rock in many Christian bookstores which says “God is my rock”. "God is my rock" - rocks ! This archaic imagery says it all. It tells me that my generation of Christian artists (for the most part) has little to offer by way of talent, invention, and real intercourse and discussion with today’s culture.

why WAS Christian art from LONG ago SO INTERESTING???

DEFORMED-

📷 by porn, warped politics and greed, lies and manipulation- selfishness - apathy and entropy in our culture or----they are CONSIDERED deformed. i think of--- the school yard bullying going on with young children ganging up on other students who don't look cool- the way men look at women as body parts and not as human- the way women look at men as stupid sex slaves and they become strippers to put themselves through college. this society has gotten REALLY crazy. and I see Jesus Like a fireman- going back into the burning building again and again until all the people are out.... OUT of danger...Into a place where they can see what is real about God and life and real love versus the fake lust and usury- and they break the matrix.

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