Australian Artist Discusses Inspiration for Prophetic Images

Artist Phil McKay talks about painting the "bizarre and unique" beasts of Revelation, his decision to stop painting fantasy and paint from the Bible, and his Roman obsession.

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McKay seems a remarkable fellow. I appreciate the hand-eye coordination and the ability create a message by drawing, painting, sculpting, and composing music. I have looked for that message, and have pondered his obsession with Roman artifacts to the point of him having a passion to recreate them. But I’m having a problem with the nature of that passion. I think I can detect it in the artifacts included in the fantastic religious images. But as singular images, I have to imagine a context as in the preaching of an evangelist. In some contexts I could appreciate them in a way similar to the way I appreciate J.K. Rowing’s Harry Potter novels. But figuratively speaking, I’m still in his gallery looking for an answer to the question of meaning. The realistic art raises another problem. How does McKay’s realistic art differ from art as propaganda. I raise this question because recently I’ve been looking at propaganda art of Nazi Germany and the old Soviet Union, all expressing a view of realism with a specific purpose to convert the onlooker. Nevertheless, I am happy to find that the list of Adventist artists is growing.

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