Friday, 20 May 2011

Iconic Art

Via Pharyngula I learn that today is Draw Mohammed Day II. Some parts of the Islamic world believe there should be a prohibition on the display of images of the Prophet. If you are devout, and you wish to refrain from doing something, then that's fine by me. But I am not, and so I don't feel I should be bound by your proscription.

In fact I'd go further than that. I think there is a tendency within some areas of the Islamic faith to promote the idea that it is right to spread Islamic ideas of devotion and purity using threats and violence. This includes the death sentence for apostasy, sexual transgressions and blasphemy. These are anathema to me.

However, as explained in my comment to Pharyngula, I don't believe I am quite ready to draw a picture of Mohammed. I am planning to do so this time next year. It did remind me, however, that I once did have a go at a piece of Christian iconography, and the reason I tried to paint it.

I have a friend from Bulgaria who gave to me a small icon painted by his father.


Up until then, I had always thought of icons as something from a very distant past. Of course all icons are painted by contemporary artists, no matter how far back in time you go, it is just the style which makes them feel old to our modern eyes. Thinking upon this made me wonder if I too could contribute to iconic art. My work appears below.






I've called it The Blue Maddona with Child (acrylic on roofing slate). The greatest compliment I received about it was that it reminded someone of a cartoon out of Monty Python. So here's to everyone who is considering contributing to the end of Islamic intolerance, to art, and to iconography!

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