Reading Assignment #4- The Reverend Ethan Acres
So like, I was confused as hell when I saw the word “reverend” in any relation to art. I have gone to Catholic school my entire life, and like.. I don’t have some sort of vendetta against religion or anything, I really don’t- like, it’s not for me, but that doesn’t mean it’s not for anyone else, either. It’s just not really my thing. I don’t know if I’m like burnt out on it after so many years of it being pounded into my head, or if it’s just genuinely not for me.. but either way, it’s just not. So, needless to say, I was drawn to this article because of my fairly religious upbringing and- obviously- as an artist.
Obviously there’s religious art out there. But for the most part I’ve always kind of felt like… there’s religion, and then there’s art. Two separate entities. However- Reverend Ethan Acres had some really fucking interesting things to say about that. He says in this article, “Art and religion do the same thing, they are ritualized practices that manifest in the material world what’s going on in a person. They make visions physical, transforming abstract ideas into tangible forms.” UH WHAT THE FUCK REVEREND. How genius is that? It’s so simple, and makes so much sense… but it blew my mind. Like, duh. Of course they’re doing the same thing.
What is religious art, you know? Icons, images of Saints and other religious heroes that give the values of the church a physical being. It’s taking all of those beliefs and feelings and whatever the hell else, and making them tangible. Isn’t that what we do as artists? We take our beliefs, feelings, and whatever the hell else- and do our best to communicate them through various mediums, on various surfaces, in various locations. It’s literally the same. It’s crazy. We’re all just trying to send a message.
The Reverend’s art wasn’t really like, my favorite thing in the world, but I can appreciate it. What I appreciate more, though, are his really amazing insights between the two seemingly polar opposite worlds of Art and Religion.