Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"the Icons are whispering to you
they're just old men, like on the benches in the park
except their balding spots are
glistening with gold."

~Regina Spektor

 In an attempt to answer a side question of Mr. Pond's without derailing the week's topic, I thought I'd attempt to explain Art in relation to Icons. Icons are not Art. When we treat our Icons as art, we diminish their role in our lives. Icons are a presence, the opportunity for the Saint to enter our lives in a fuller way than a statue or "religious image". That is why we greet our Icons, kiss them, and leave them uncovered to watch with us in the sorrows of Holy Week. Art is "a lie that tells the truth." as Picasso and many others have said, which is why men and Icons, no matter how beautiful, are never "Art" though they may be "artistic" and are certianly beautiful.

It is sometimes hard to develope a taste for the beauty of Icons: the living eyes that follow us throughout the day, the colors and gestures that mean more than they appear to, Icons are something more than religious art and it is by coming to know them, as we know our friends - being intimate with them as we are intimate with each other, that we can develope a true understand of who and what they really are.


  1. That's so funny that you posted this. I had been wondering what if you thought of icons as art. You still have to give an example of something you do think is Art. :)

  2. Oh..well, lots of things! :)

    But I'll get on that. Obviously Rilke's poems, and Lolita, because even with HH and Lolita's nastiness, Nabokov manages to show the fallen glory of humanity. I like to imagine that someday my pots will be Art, though right now I'd say their on the "craft" side instead, they try, but I miss a lot. A lot of Seth's photos are Art, because of how he draws out the truth within the image.

    With paintings, obviously what's-his-name...(Thomas Kinkade!) isn't art, but Bouguereau, even with all his tendency toward the shallow "prettiness" is, for the most part.

    A house can be art, "living art" always in transition, because it has the possibility of speaking to something beyond itself. Which is obviously what I go for with the yurt, though yurts with "plastic-canvas" walls offer some trials, the shape more than makes up for it..

    Anyway, I'll work on a Positive post, "Art is.." instead of "Art is not." :)

    Talk to you soon!