Friday, July 21, 2006

Art Behind Bars

Donny Johnson, serving three life terms in solitary confinement for murder and slashing a prison guard's throat, creates paintings using pigmentation from M&M's, blank postcards, and a paintbrush made, in part, from strands of his own hair.

Reading this story in the New York Times reminded me of Pascal's frequent commentary on humanity's simultaneous greatness and wretchedness. By virtue of creation we are bearers of the divine image, capable of creating astounding beauty. By virtue of the fall, our hearts are inclined toward performing great evil. On account of Christ's death and resurrection, those who trust him expectantly await the restoration of creation's glory and the ability to create moral and aesthetic beauty, unhindered by the bars of our present sinfulness.

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