We had a discussion among our staff about the art of Makoto Fujimura this morning. He’s a New Yorker. He’s a Greenwich Village artist (my old haunting grounds back in the day @ Parsons School of Design). He’s asian (yay!) And he’s a Christian. So it intrigued me to watch an emerging figure who represents two worlds I inhabit, as an Asian-American as well as a Christian within the arts. So I did some homework only to find this little endorsement here to the left that he receives from CT mag, and to find out that he’s received some accolade from some great sources. See his blog here and professional page here. So I’m thrilled for this guy who is making a statement in numerous ways – as an urbanite, a religious person, an ethnic person – just thrilled. But the one question that seemed to echo in our group was:
How does art incarnate?
Or more specifically,
Just how exactly does art incarnate faith locally w/o being elitist, misunderstood, or just plain out-of-touch? It is afterall, just a painting. Can a painting have any social or religious impact or significance at all? Especially in a place like the Northwest, where the ethos is more earthy, probably no less spiritual than New York City, but people have less time and money to sit in galleries out here…
Nonetheless I dig his work big time. Check out this amazing piece hanging in a New Haven Church: