Not being a graphic designer myself,many of the programs or processes used in graphic design are unfamiliar to me, but I am a Christian and I do understand the desire to make a difference in the world through my art.
Jordan’s talk in Fine Arts Seminar, though based in a medium with which I have no experience, resonated with me. In the past year, I have come to understand my work as a tool that I’ve been given, as is my liberal arts education, and it is my job description as a Christian to use the tools I’ve been given to show people Christ.
Jordan uses his graphic designs to make confrontational pieces of art that deal with symbolism in order to start conversations. These pieces are powerful partially because of their use of symbolism. In our culture, symbols are everywhere and loaded with meaning. Logos and brands are kinds of symbols which embody whole worldviews and broadcast those worldviews from the product. Jordan hopes that these confrontational pieces spark conversations with people so that he can have a discussion with them about ideas and beliefs. Making the pieces to be confrontational is his personal shortcut to real talks about real beliefs.
These conversations are often uncomfortable but he says that it is important as an artist to be perpetually uncomfortable. It is one of the best ways to grow because it challenges and strengths a person’s beliefs and ideas.
Confrontations are not everyone’s strong point, but it seems that Jordan thrives on it and as a Christian no less. This is something that we do not see much of in the modern art world. Christian artwork has a bad reputation for a good reason. Much of the art is culturally biased and not tasteful. Christians should be stepping up to the plate in the art world and offering an authentic personal experience that is backed with truth. Jordan said after class that he would rather see a horror movie than some degenerate, poor-quality Christian movie. At least the horror movie is honest in its portrayal of horror. The christian movie is selling a lie of perpetual happiness and being untrue to the reality that people face everyday.
All in all, having Jordan Darby here as the visiting artist has been encouraging to me as a Christian art student. In my three years at Houghton, he is the first visiting artist that I can remember who has openly declared that he is a follower of Christ.