William Collen
Art theory and criticism from a Christian aesthetician
Created 24 Jun 2021
  • Art Fight!
    03 Jan 2022 • 7 min read • 2 1
    Well! It’s been a while since the art world had a good old-fashioned ideological battle. I’m not talking about the predictable outrage that happens when someone decides to use a flask of urine to filt...
  • Four Songs with Unique Perspectives on Spirituality
    29 Nov 2021 • 3 min read
    Clockwise from upper left: Scott Stapp, Sufjan Stevens, Van Morrison, and Jeff Tweedy. A vague spirituality is evident in the vast universe of rock, from the most mainstream, corporate stylings of U2 ...
  • We Lie To Ourselves Using Images
    22 Nov 2021 • 4 min read • 2 4
    Pictures are, by their very nature, meaningless. They have no text, no propositional content at all; as James Elkins points out in Why are Our Pictures Puzzles?, “pictures have no words, and therefore...
  • Dostoevsky the Culturally Active Christian
    15 Nov 2021 • 5 min read • 2 2
    Vasily Perov, Portrait of Fyodor Dostoevsky. 1872. November 11 marked the 200th anniversary of the birth of Fyodor Dostoevsky, universally acknowledged as one of the greatest novelists in all of world...
  • Structures of Power in Villeneuve’s "Dune"
    08 Nov 2021 • 6 min read • 1 0
    It’s been hard to not notice the ramp-up to Denis Villeneuve’s Dune. Not Since Wes Anderson announced Isle of Dogs has a non-superhero, non-Frozen II movie garnered so much pre-release hype. And after...
  • Discussion thread: books into films
    04 Nov 2021 • < 1 min read • 3 15
    Movies and books are two different ways of telling stories; when a story is translated from a book into a film, something, of necessity, will change. What are some examples of successful book-to-film ...
  • Contemporary Art and The Church: A Conversation Between Two Worlds
    01 Nov 2021 • 6 min read • 3 0
    Is religion the enemy of contemporary art? It certainly seems so sometimes—witness the uproar from religious spaces that happens over artworks such as Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ. Contemporary artist...
  • The Tree Of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
    25 Oct 2021 • 3 min read • 1 3
    A still from Malick’s The Tree of Life. Terrence Malick is undoubtedly a master of the grand and profound visual statement. His films consistently feature glorious, breathtaking cinematography; this, ...
  • "Nevermind" And "Loveless" Both Turned 30 This Fall
    18 Oct 2021 • 6 min read • 1 1
    I probably first became aware of Nirvana’s Nevermind in my teens, but I was too snooty to pay attention to anything that played on the radio. When I was 18, I was listening mostly to krautrock, Philip...
  • Tenet (Christopher Nolan, 2020)
    11 Oct 2021 • 4 min read • 1 2
    The best way to approach most Nolan movies is, in my opinion, to think of them as summer-popcorn fare. The plots are so convoluted that I can’t track with them at all, so I stop trying and just go wit...
  • View More on Substack »