Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Book Review: Refractions by Makoto Fujimura

By Lauren Yarger
The age-old debate about whether one is a Christian artist or an artist who is a Christian seems moot as both Christian an artist blend into one in Makoto Fujimura’s collections of thoughts on art, faith and culture in “Refractions” (NavPress 2009).

The visual artist, who served on the National Council on the Arts, offers insights on how art, culture and faith are connected and how they can blend like the colors on one of his beautiful canvases instead of being opposed to one another.

Fujimura uses his artist’s eye to observe beauty not only in art, but in daily life. He’s is at ease seeing its application in dealing with a troubled youth or in sharing a short biblical parable that fits a situation.

“The Creator God has given us creativity and the arts so that we may “name” experiences, just as God commissioned Adam to name the animals in the garden,” Fujimura shares. “In the fallen realities of our days, God continues to affirm our creative responses to the darkened horizon, and by naming the indescribable, we may yet rediscover our hope to endure yet another dark day.”

His recounting of the September 11 attacks in 2001, near his home and studio in New York, are poignant and led to the formation of the TriBeca Temporary, an oasis for collaboration by Ground Zero artists.

Fujimura also looks at some classic art, including DaVinci’s “The Last Supper” and reflects on the interpretations of it by fans of Dan Brown’s novel “The DaVinci Code,” which revolves around a theory that Jesus and Mary Magdalene (supposedly represented in DaVinci’s painting) were married and had a child. Fujimura’s interpretation of the real message in that painting is eye-opening and evidence of the artist’s ability to apply his faith naturally both to art and culture.

The book is beautifully laid out including numerous photos of Fujimura’s works. Reading it is like taking a refreshing break from the hustle of every day business and focusing on a beautiful painting of God’s love for us.

You can purchase Refractions here.

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Daily Inspiration

The Blind Side

Read about the real life mom from "The Blind Side."

Lifeway: http://www.lifeway.com/article/?id=169816

Guideposts: http://www.guideposts.com/story/sandra-bullock-blind-side-football?page=0,1

Read Matt Mungle's review of the movie at http://www.buddyhollywood.com/.

Lauren Yarger, Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

In 2008 she was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater with a Christian perspective for Reflections in the Light (http://reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com/) and is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection. She also is a contributing editor for BroadwayWorld.com

She also reviews books for Publisher's Weekly and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. She formerly was Connecticut theater editor for CurtainUp, a national theater web site bsed in New York and a reviewer for American Theater Web.

She also served as Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. and worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts in Hartford and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra.

She is a freelance writer and member of the Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association, The League of Professional Theatre Women and The CT Critics Circle.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger lives with her husband in West Granby, CT and has two adult children.

Copyright Notice

All contents copyright © Lauren Yarger 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, contact masterworkproductions@yahoo.com.

Scripture from THE MESSAGE Copyright 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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