last week, i wrote about the beautiful and often messy intersection of faith and culture regarding christ thile and the punch brothers. specifically, i looked at thile’s faith journey shown in the trajectory of his lyrics.
here, i want to shift to another art form in which we find someone expressing their journey with christ in a beautifully creative and fresh way. barton damer is a motion graphics and print designer based in dallas, tx. he’s the creative director at rt creative group which is responsible for such things as collide magazine, igniter media and echo conference. he blogs at www.alreadybeenchewed.net and you can also finding him hanging with his 3 children or skateboarding.
also, of course, you can find him producing some really amazing art that creates a pattern for the interplay between christ and art.
damer specializes in seemlessly blending the worlds of motion graphics and printed art. most of the time, it’s difficult to differientiate between one of his 2-d pieces and a motion still. his ability to create a sense of movement and fluidity in a flat piece is incredible.
what’s most incredible, though, is the way in which damer creates work that points back to a Creator without being explicitly “christian.” now, damer—particularly with his work at igniter media—certainly does quite a bit of motion and graphics work that is made to be used in worship settings or in the context of the church, but the distinction is that it never feels cheap or reverts to the most mindless form of art (think thomas kinkade). rather, he creates beautiful and moving pieces of art that engage people and elicits response.
i think that’s the kind of art christ followers should be creating. art that comes from a christ perspective doesn’t have to cheapen itself by settling for the most literal interpretation or merely slapping the word “christian” in front of it. damer is able to convey beauty and depth even on something like a line of skateboard decks (which you see an example of below). it isn’t like you suddenly look at one of his skateboards or t-shirts and say, “ooh, i think i want to accept jesus”, but what it does is engage people with beauty and truth that expresses the nature of humans as created by the most gifted Creator.
so, here’s to art that’s goal is to move and engage people not in a one-sighted and cheapened way, but to show the beauty and work that’s god’s doing in the world
here’s a few more examples of his work. to check out everthing, go to www.bartondamer.com.