LinkLuv: Atheist on art & religion, iPhone art, crocheted steel

Atheist Jonathan Jones ponders the connection between great art and religion. There are some great quotes from this short blog entry. After validating religious influence on the arts he asks “In a completely rational world would art exist? Maybe, but only as a sort of post-Duchampian ironic plaything.” He then comments on mystery, though he mistakes it for magic: “Religion, in other words, is mixed up with magic, or to put it another way, the kinds of religion that nurture art tend to be. Catholic idolatry begets beauty. Protestantism does not.”

I often wonder about how difficult it must be for certain personality types to accept religion — particularly those predisposed to completely rational and logical thinking, believing that nothing is worthy to be believed if there is not physical evidence to support it. Artistic personalities, it seems to me, are more likely to welcome the reality of mystery. To believers like me, the idea that everything that is can be validated by science is naive, just as religion appears naive to atheists.

Keni recently launched iArtMobile, a website dedicated to art created on mobile devices, especially the iPhone. Digital art is something I purposefully avoid on The Aesthetic Elevator, but this was interesting enough to link to. Keni, who doesn’t list his last name anywhere, creates watercolors en plein air when he’s not sketching on his iPhone. Via


Anne Mondro crochets wire sculptures. Incredible wire sculptures like the one above titled Vulnerable Touch. Thanks to my wife for the link.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

3 Responses to LinkLuv: Atheist on art & religion, iPhone art, crocheted steel

  1. Tim J. says:

    “Catholic idolatry begets beauty. Protestantism does not.”

    Funny that an atheist gets this wrong in exactly the same way that many fundamentalists do.

    I, of course, would take exception to his remark about Catholic “idolatry”. It could be described more as an Incarnational understanding of the world. This touches on the sacramental principle… that God can and does use physical things as channels of his grace.

  2. pNielsen says:

    Yeah, some *interesting* ideas he posited. But, coming from an atheist, you take them as a Believer with a grain of salt. Even having grown up in a fundamentalist enviromment, I wouldn’t really call anything in Catholicism is idolatry — as much as I might not understand the veneration of Mary. At least, not any more than certain things in Protestantism or secular life.

    I always find these kinds of outsider observations fascinating, nonetheless.

  3. Keni says:

    …for me, the author, pNielsen, is an example of a mind of firm convictions, but not closed to new ideas. While PNielsen states that he avoids digital art on his site, he apparently has looked beyond the technology to see the art.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: