Artists as Prophets of Viscera

Nigel Goodwin was just here and as always he stirred things up in me and around me.

Most of his time in Seattle was spent encouraging artists to be faithful to their calling, to go deep in faith and pursue their passion to make good, true art.

Nigel is fond of pointing out that our faith proceeds from our head, heart and “gut,” or viscera as he calls it. (Be sure to get the rolling British “r” when you say viscera out loud.) He follows this statement with a reminder that great art comes from the viscera¢â‚¬¦then he added, “so does the voice of the prophet.” (Art titled viscera posted above.)

The association of artist and prophet is an obvious but often missed one. Artists and Prophets share a lot in common.

1) They see things other people don’t see.
2) They often see things truly.
3) Their art speaks the truth regardless of consequences.
4) They often find it difficult to financially support their enterprise. (I often ask donor-marketing gurus if they could raise support for an Old Testament Prophet from the audience to which the prophet speaks. The honest ones say no).
5) The gutless church often doesn’t know what to do with artists and prophets because they are outside the norm, coloring outside the lines, proclaiming things not usually said in the polite company of the comfortable.

Artists like Prophets will proceed with their outrageous behavior with or without our encouragement because they’re fully engaged– mind, heart and gut, nevertheless they deserve our encouragement and love. Buy their art. Donate to their cause. You feed the priest, pastor, teacher and evangelist when you sponsor a child or tsunami relief, when you give to world missions or write a check to your church. When you support an artist you support the prophet and ours is an age hungry for the truth delivered from the prophets of viscera.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in January 21, 2005 by | No Comments »

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