He comments on why Christians feel they need to put words (in particular, Bible verses) on their artwork. Many of his commenters wonder why all the art is so kitchy.
I thought of this because the winners of the Australian Blake Prize for religious art have just been announced. Lo and behold, the winner of the Prize for Human Justice, Age 36 by Fiona White, has its own accompanying text.
Not quite a bible verse, and unlike the horse poster it can be taken a number of ways. On the surface, the man in the picture is the victim of a human rights abuse. But is that a halo around him? Or the fire of the Spirit? Or is he just getting burnt?
Other entries somehow managed to be religious without an accompanying verse, Biblical or otherwise. Like the winner of the overall award, If you put your ear close, you'll hear it breathing by Leonard Brown.
Or this highly commended piece, Indulgence (Partial) by Olga Sankey.
The judges said of Brown's work,
In a world of sound bites, snappy one liners and attention grabbing images which hold our interest for a nanosecond, Leonard Brown's beautiful and deeply contemplative painting appears strangely out of place. An ordained priest and a deeply religious person, Leonard Brown has created a work with an enormous spiritual presence, a work of outstanding visual intelligence and one with a profound contemplative content....It is a deeply lyrical work full of subtle variations, like a metaphorical tear drop or the quiet weeping of the seraphims.
If I had been judging, though, I would have given the prize to Rodney Pople's Cardinal with Altar Boy, with its beautiful, rich colours and textures and its spooky, spine chilling evocation of the mystery of holiness, the innocence of childhood and the horror of abuse. At least, that's what I see.