We live in a time of restless searching. Thresholds are thin. The boundaries between living and dying, renewal and stasis, demand frequent negotiation. It’s perhaps unsurprising that ideas drawn from mysticism, animism, ancestor worship, and spirituality (although not necessarily from organized religion) are recurrent in contemporary art. In light of perpetual crises, spiritual practices are in high demand. The intersections of art and spirituality are, of course, not new, but they are cyclical. In the long shadow of Conceptual Art, it hasn’t always been fashionable to incorporate aspects of narrative, symbolism, myth, or character so directly. Irony superseded sincerity, and work that performed meaning through figuration was often discounted. As the political urgencies of art-making demand social accountability and change, symbolism has again become useful in connecting spiritual beliefs with aesthetics.
This article also appears in the issue 105 - New New AgeDiscover