Venus, by Michael Newberry,
2008, oil on linen, 48 x 48 inches
Guest post by Michael Newberry
Big in the news this week is the draw Mohammad Contest, and I couldn't be more proud of Bosch Fawstin aka Pig Man. He is a hero for risking his life to fight for free speech. The hoopla surrounding the issue is rooted in the Muslim, Christian, and Jewish commandment that "... thou shall not make graven images..." I know everyone has heard about that concept, but I doubt people understand how it is a virus designed to destroy your love, unique individuality, freedom, and the highest calling of art.
One of my goals in reaching for the sublime in art is to show a radical alternative to the repressive controlling doctrine of "no graven images." One of the birth concepts of my Venus was to answer this sacrilegious tripe, not with a painting about how stupid they are but with the positive direction of where humanity should be going.
Religions want to have power over you but it is impossible to have power over anyone that trusts their own passion, uniqueness, and right to be free. So they have systematically undercut you as a youth by getting you to reserve your most serious, highest, most noble and deepest feelings for religious ideals. Making your other personal passions seem insignificant by comparison.
Serious figurative art is the technology of the soul. Religious are afraid of that, because once people profoundly embrace and substitute high art as the sublime, religions have zero hold. Catholicism made a huge and hypocritical mistake when they tried to integrate secular humanism with Christianity in the Renaissance - humanism almost completely toppled it.
Bill O'Reilly and other "but'ers" will never defend freedom as its root because they are stuck in their belief that freedom is of secondary importance. They are compromised by the "no graven image virus."
No enemy is going to kill me because of making Venus, but that is because they don't have the wits to understand that the god-like nude in high art is the ultimate symbol of freedom, individuality, and passion - and disdain for hypocrites and mob mentalities.
Michael Newberry is an internationally-recognised artist whose work combines the colour of the Impressionists and the clarity of Rembrandt with the heroism embodied in romantic music.
Visit him regularly at MichaelNewberry.Com.
PS: For a related read, and possibly the best summary of the issues around and arising from the armed attack on the Texas Draw Mohammed event,
- Mark Steyn: ‘"Stay Quiet and You'll Be Okay."
Sample quote: Have you noticed how “all the arty types who say we need "artists" with the "courage" to "explore" "transgressive" "ideas" fold like a cheap Bedouin tent when it comes to Islam …”