What Does Art Contribute to the Life of the Church? Bruce Herman on the Art of Paradox (Part 2)

What Does Art Contribute to the Life of the Church? Bruce Herman on the Art of Paradox (Part 2)
“Essentially poetry, art, and music break open the world again for us that had gotten closed by our false certainties.” Bruce Herman Click To Tweet

In the last Betwixt Episode, artist Bruce Herman told the story about the house-fire in which he lost 25 years of artwork. Bruce described it as a “eu-catastrophe” – the good catastrophe that brought freedom amidst great loss.

In Part 2 of this robust conversation with Bruce Herman, I wanted to learn more about his work as an artist. What are the new possibilities and narratives Bruce has been exploring? What role does art play in the life of the Church?

Bruce Herman’s latest project Ordinary Saints explores the fraught space between the icon and the portrait. A space Bruce has described as “entering into no-man’s land, between the sacred traditions on the one hand and the traditions of portraiture, and of art-song and poetry.”

“Playing God is the great temptation for all of us–especially artists. . . My imagination had been colonized by my desire for reputation.” - Bruce Herman Click To Tweet

Bruce Herman is an artist, essayist, speaker, professor. He is the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts at Gordon College where he founded the Art Department 35 years ago. Herman’s art has been exhibited around the world; his paintings housed in world renown museums like the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art and the Cincinnati Museum of Fine Arts.

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If you enjoyed this episode, you might like:

Episode 20: Bruce Herman on How to Dance When Everything is Burning (Art of Paradox Part 1)

Episode 14:Suzanne Stabile on How the Enneagram Helps the Church Understand Difference (Part 1)

Thank you to these artists for the use of their audio: