Below is a recent conversation between CIVA and member Donna Gonzalez about prophetic art.
CIVA: What is prophetic art? How do you understand it?
DG: To some people the phrase “prophetic art” invokes notions of spiritual mysticism or foretelling events, in truth it’s comparable to the Old Testament prophet who spoke forth God’s word to the people. Under the New Covenant, prophesy is a prophetic gift the Holy Spirit grants believers to speak forth what God has already said in His word, being used in accordance to their faith for the edification of the Church. (Romans 12:6). To me, “prophetic art” is a very specific art genre which includes four indisputable essential components: a work created by a Christian led by the Holy Spirit, communicating a biblical truth, blessing others and resulting in God’s glory.
CIVA: Should Christian artists be considered prophetic artists?
CIVA: Why do you say that?
DG: It’s part of our identity, who we are as new creatures in Christ, created and called to do good works that were already prepared in advance for us to accomplish (2 Corinthians 5:17, Ephesians 2:10). We are commanded by Christ to fulfill the great commission (Matthew 28:19-20), it’s just artists have the unique opportunity to accomplish this through their talent and creativity. St. Paul urges believers “…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:31). I’m reminded of a situation that happened to Moses where the Spirit of the Lord came down, rested upon 70 elders who immediately began prophesying, which one would expect – but God also placed His Spirit upon 2 other men, and they prophesied too. A young man ran and told Moses requesting he restrain these two men from prophesying. I find it quite interesting what Moses said. He didn’t get upset or rebuke them rather he said, “Are you jealous for my sake? If only all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put His Spirit upon them!.” (Numbers 11:24-29). Those words echo what St. Paul said in I Corinthians 14:5 “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues… so that the church may be edified.” So yes, I believe that all Christian artists should be considered prophets declaring God’s word edifying the Church and declaring God’s truth to a lost and dying world!
CIVA: What is your journey? How did you come to consider yourself a prophetic artist?
DG: Years ago, I didn’t understand what prophetic art or a prophetic artist was. My journey simply began one night before retiring asking God what He wanted me to paint, I just wanted to use my art for His glory. Immediately a vision of a colorful mosaic came to mind. The next day I started painting a mosaic, but since it wasn’t much to look at, I decided to duplicate the painting multiple times in a photo editor, placing them into a pattern where hidden symbols and objects became visible. Having asked the Holy Spirit what this meant, He gave me scripture that corresponded perfectly with the hidden objects. It was so unreal! The iconography became God’s message; a mini bible study if you will. There was no way I could do this if it weren’t for God’s interaction. I was awed and humbled that God would grant me the opportunity to be a conduit of His message. That’s how it all began and my mosaic paintings became the “Mosaics with Meaning TM” prophetic works, “Here Am I Send Me”, “Fishers of Men” and “Seek the Lord” are a few.
I also paint typical prophetic works, done by inspiration after prayer and meditating on scripture, or after listening to praise and worship music, or from a vision or dream. “My Body Broken for You” is based upon a vision I had during a conversation at church.
CIVA: Any last thoughts?
DG: Our work as Christian artists is significant, it’s redemptive, not because of ourselves but because it is a divine gift from the Great Master Artist Himself.
Donna Gonzalez lives in Wayne, MI, teaches art and is the founder of an art ministry, Resurgent Art LLC. She enjoys gardening, reading and is currently writing her first book.