An Artsy Contest

Crescat takes aim at the exterior of my church. One commenter thought it was a headscratcher.

Is there supposed to be something wrong with #38?

I wonder who nominated us? One of my parishioners wasn’t too happy when I told her about this.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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5 Responses to An Artsy Contest

  1. KiwiNomad says:

    I am not surprised your parishioner wasn’t happy, and nor am I surprised that another commenter was bemused by the inclusion of the photo of your church. The general tone in the comment boxes on this post I thought was incredibly arrogant. Of course I didn’t like all the architecture, but I wouldn’t expect to.

  2. Gavin says:

    I don’t get what’s wrong with your church either. I don’t get what it’s depicting (2 Jesuses? Jesus and St. Symeon of Cyrene? Jesus helping us carry the cross?) but it doesn’t offend me at all.

    There’s many categories of art I see here:

    – Flat out bad art, which probably does deserve to be mocked (49)
    – Art which is waaaay too explicit in its symbolism, again probably setting itself up for some light mockery (32)
    – Art which, while not being bad, is of a more modern style than most can appreciate, which is not in itself worthy of mockery (31)
    – Churches which dared to use modern materials for building, which is apparently a high crime. People who criticize those are just… well, the words aren’t appropriate for this blog (39)

    Much of this is bad art. But bad art isn’t relegated to the modern decades. 19th century Marian devotional art tends towards the absurd. Or we can even talk of the most “traditional” examples. How about those over-busy baroque structures that trads love to look at? The creepy-looking Holy Infant of Prague? Or dare we mention the laser-beams-coming-out-of-my-heart Divine Mercy image?

  3. Jason says:

    I agree. There were a number that I didn’t like, but a lot I did. Apparently any art that doesn’t mimic the gothic or renaissance styles, when our Church was founded some give the impression, is unacceptable.

  4. Jimmy Mac says:

    The snide little commentator who put together that oh-so-precious putdown of contemporary church art (much of which, I’ll admit, leaves a bit to be desired) should follow in the footsteps of my recent trip through “Catholic” Bavaria and Austria. There was enough wretched excess, ego-enhancement, and just plain ugly rococo art in some of those churches to make one want to wretch. Of course, they are emblematic of Pre-Vatican II”Catholic Europe” so, by infallible decree, they are worthy of our emulation, adoration, unstinting praise and defense at all costs.

  5. lynn hammelrund says:

    The picture of your church does not give enough detail, so I can’t see what is offensive.

    #45, however, is a real clunker. That stone square in the immediate foreground looks like it has toes (those motifs at floor level). If that’s an altar, I’m not going to Mass there, for fear of the Big Foot stomping on all the sinners!

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