Courtesy of Michael Buesking
Art and Prophets
When Michael Buesking entered the army at 17, he wanted a job as an army illustrator or a chaplain’s assistant. He became the latter, but one day his faith and art would merge.
He says growing up in Strasburg, Illinois, he enjoyed art but never thought that becoming an artist was an option for him. However, when he enrolled in college at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale after four years in the army, he decided to study art. His studies led him to the University of Missouri at Columbia where he pursued an MFA while teaching at Evangel University in Springfield. Michael included the spiritual in his work, but he often veiled spiritual subjects behind metaphorical paintings.
During one critique, Michael was surprised when classmates pointed out spiritual themes in his work and encouraged him to make them obvious. He was hesitant to go in the direction of illustrative artwork and portray scenes from the Bible. Instead, inspired by the performance art movement, he realized the prophets of the Old Testament were doing performance art in order to convey God’s message.
Michael thinks people tend to glance over the stranger actions of the prophets in the Bible. “Maybe it’s because I grew up in a TV generation, but I tend to picture things as I read scripture,” he says. Michael uses self-portrait in depiction of the prophet because he sees connections between the prophets’ spiritually dark times and today. “I think any true Christian sees everything they do in life as impactful and important, so that obviously includes the artwork I do and things I make,” he says.
Michael works with oil on canvas, but he has also done drawings and some landscapes.
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