Thursday, May 27, 2010
Nothing is scary anymore.
On the way to the apocatastasis...
Yesterday afternoon I used my last small canvas to paint an allegory on sins of the tongue - which turned out to be a somewhat classic mouth of hell painting instead. (I'll post it another time.) I added in a couple of little alien-looking demons, and while I painted I realized how funny the images were. Instead of being scary, medieval representations of hell's monsters have turned into comic figures. Perhaps it is due to the fact monsters are kind of cuddly and nice these days, catering to kids and adults: Monsters Inc., friendly aliens, and goofy demons with feelings... the stuff just isn't scary anymore. You know, once you get to know one, they're really nice. Which is why I posted the French and Saunders Exorcist parody - today The Exorcist could be remade into a comedy.
I don't know, maybe our fascination with the violent and macabre, coupled with a disbelief that people really do go to hell, and that there really are demons who hate us, inhabiting a place of unimaginable and eternal suffering, has desensitized most of us. Although it could be our denial is more directly a result of a loss of a sense of sin, rather than a loss of faith. It seems to me most people believe everyone goes to heaven - 'he's in a better place', or, 'no place at all' - because, 'no one could ever be condemned to hell'.
Just a thought.
Art: Mad Meg - Pieter Bruegel the Elder. From what I understand, in the 16th century madness was considered a vice which included insanity, rage, gluttony, lust, avarice and ambition. Today we view madness as an illness. As late as the mid 20th century alcoholism was considered a moral problem, while today it is viewed as an illness.