What is Contrast?
Contrast is an artistic community and (soon-to-be) non-profit organization dedicated to creating high-quality, authentic, Christian art that illustrates Biblical truths in a thought-provoking way that is popular to mainstream audiences. Contrast bridges the church and the secular worlds through the popular medium of fine art. Its demand for the absolute highest quality will give it merit and a voice in the artistic community and its messages will benefit both sides of belief in Christ. Contrast addresses the four main problems currently associated with modern Christian art: too narrow of an audience, a lack of message, a lack of quality, & a lack of promotion.
Too Narrow of an Audience: Modern Christian art has largely become art by Christians for Christians. When that happens, it easily becomes so far removed from what the world sees and experiences it is ineffective in showing the love of Jesus Christ. It’s ineffective largely because people can’t identify with it.
Lack of Message: Many times, Christians tend to gloss over issues they struggle with regarding Christianity because they want to give a good representation to non-believers. In other words, we try to sell Christianity. So we don’t address the “bad parts” of what we believe, which is usually what is holding back non-believers in the first place. They see right through our sales pitch. But when we start showing authenticity and they see that we still believe in spite of our struggles, they are drawn to what we have to say and want to know more. They see that we are just like them and have our doubts, but something or Someone is greater than our issues at hand.
Lack of Quality: Lots of times Christians are known for a sub-standard quality. We borrow ideas and put God-spins on them. Or they can be cheesy and lack creativity. We make do with what we have and hope for the best. But that is not what draws the non-believers and critics. Our goal with contrast is to create art at such a high quality that they become interested in what we have to say, and that our message is not diluted by poor performance. Our hope is that the term Christian Art will become as much a standard of quality as intent. Contrast will work with artists to critique and develop this kind of art.
Lack of Promotion: I’m sure there are Christian artists out there that create high-quality, authentic art that non-believers can identify with. The problem is, they are difficult to find or hear about. Contrast serves as a promotional platform for these types of artists. It will arrange gallery showings, press releases, magazine articles, and all sorts of hype to draw attention to the message that is being presented. Currently there are seven targeted cities: Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, London, & Paris.
What is God wanting to do through Contrast?
God wants to engage our culture. Art is becoming more and more influential and popular in our generation. As society continues to be more & more media & visually driven, high-quality art that points viewers back to the Bible is becoming more and more necessary to engage people. Visual art is a perfect medium for life-change because when people look at it, they bring all of themselves – their past, their struggles, their identity – and they engage a medium that can speak God’s truth to their very souls. It’s just them and God connected by the artwork. Everybody has seen a piece of artwork or heard a song that speaks to them somehow. Contrast’s theme is Create Teach Think Repeat. CREATE high quality Christian art. Use it to TEACH Biblical principles to both Christians and non-Christians that cause the viewer to THINK about what they believe and what is being said. Then REPEAT. And enable others to repeat.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” 1 Cor 15:10 TNIV