Archive for February 22, 2023

Abstraction Distraction…

Posted: February 22, 2023 in Uncategorized

I like abstract art. That being said, I’ve never really felt able to make abstract art. I have a hard time letting loose enough and giving up control. One day I hope to master it, but I feel a lot more comfortable with more representational art, probably because I use so much art for ministry and I feel like it is important to make work that shows things clearly, and that brings me to Damar Hamlin.

You remember him, the Buffalo Bills player who went into cardiac arrest after taking a hard shot to the chest in a playoff game. His injury sparked prayer not just on the field, but all over the world. He is now in the process of recovery and seems to be doing better, at least well enough to attend the Super Bowl and it was there that he caused something of an uproar. You see he wore a jacket that had an image of Christ on it and the image caused a lot of consternation and criticism. It said “Eternal” on the back, with an image of Christ on the cross and the face of Christ on the front. The image is what caused the problem. you see it’s very abstract, multiple eyes, multiple colored teeth and on and on. After all of that prayer, a lot of people took a lot of offense.

For his part, Hamlin says he didn’t see it this way and he says he meant no disrespect and that he wore it as a way of celebrating his faith and eternal life. For the record the coat does also say “Without beginning or end, there is no day or night…” which does really define eternal. Hamlin said “[it] is abstract art to me” and that “I am Eternally thankful to my Savior!” I believe him, not that anyone asked. In the course of my life, I’ve come to understand that symbols mean different things to different people. I’ve also come to realize that just as I take my faith very seriously, so do others. That’s the thing with abstract art, people read it in different ways and it appears Hamlin was misread. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and trust that he was trying to express his gratitude for eternal after a life threatening incident.