The creative process and artistry are not merely physical but a spiritual experience. Art is the manifestation of an artist’s identity and beliefs. The spirit through which an artist tap for creative work matters.
For the construction of Israel’s tabernacle, the Lord chose Bezalel and filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge, and with all kinds of skills. Bezalel possessed everything to be a great artist for God’s work. What would be the difference between a great artist with the Spirit of God versus he/she without the Spirit of God?
Isaiah 11:2 listed seven spirits of God, “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” Therefore, art is a spiritual experience as God chose the person and equips the person like Bezalel with the Spirit of God, wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and skills.
Psalm 111:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. …”, and Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
Another question: can a creative person make great artwork without faith in God and a relationship with God? The answer is Yes! We see so many famous artists who don’t acknowledge God in their artistic endeavors. The key is the spirit and the source of wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and its fruit.
One famous painter Mark Rothko tapped into mythology for his art and said, “Without monsters and gods, art can not enact a drama.” And “Art to me is an anecdote of the spirit.” Unfortunately, mark Rothko committed suicide at the age of 66. The spirit that he tapped into for His art led to death.
Jean-Michel Basquiat is another famous young artist. Heads and skulls are significant focal points of his most seminal works. The skulls allude to Haitian Vodou of his family background (Wikipedia). Art historian Olivier Berggruen said of Basquiat’s Anatomy(1982) “creates an aesthetic of the body as damaged, scarred, fragmented, incomplete, or torn apart, once the organic whole has disappeared.” Basquiat’s art reflects his fragmented identity. Unfortunately, the power of skulls (intellect) did not save him. He died of a drug overdose at the age of 27.
Bezalel made everything that the Lord had commanded Moses regarding the construction of tabernacles (Exodus 38:22). More than being a famous artist, Bezalel was known for making everything that Lord had commanded. Bezalel set an example for a fulfilled life when he creates with the Spirit of God. Will you join me to take the challenge of making everything that the Lord has commanded us to do through His Spirit, wisdom, understanding, and knowledge?
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