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How art embodies cultural identity (Aztec Vs.New nations of the US) - Essay Example

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How art embodies cultural identity (Aztec Vs.New nations of the US)

nited States, which is predominantly Christianity, at times forbids artistic expression of the religion (Hollingsworth, 2004, p341) and at others is often limited to Renaissance-style depictions of Bible stories with a heavy focus on the central character, Jesus Christ. Most art in the United States is of no obvious religious character.
One of the most famous examples of Aztec sculpture is known as the calendar stone, which depicts the sun god surrounded by bands that depict various days and eras. This stone shows the seamless integration between art, religion and daily life, because it is at once a piece of art, a depiction of a deity and a useful object. The carving of the central sun god is created in typical Aztec style, having a close relationship with that found in the Phonecian culture and representing the intricate relationship between man and nature (Miller, 1986, p205). There are many more examples of Aztec sculpture which feature depictions of a sun god, and countless stone carvings depicting aspects of the religion. Conversely, it is fairly difficult to find one such shining example of religious sculpture which has originated in the new nation of the US.
Religious sculpture in the United States is often commisioned for use outside religious buildings. One such example is known as the King of Kings, a 62 foot tall statue of Jesus that adorns the entrance of a megachurch in Ohio. The artistic value of this sculpture has been debated (Williamson, 2004, p89) although the Aztec calendar stone was also probably of questionable artistic value to those who used it as a ceremonial basin (Morán & History, 2007, p157). However, whether the King of Kings is considered art or not, the main value this had (until it was hit by lightening in 2010) was to adorn the baptismal pool and depict the central character of Christianity. It had no additional usage, highlighting the distance between religion, art and everyday life in the new nation of the United ...Show more
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Both the religion of the Aztecs and the religion of the new nation of the US rely heavily on art as a way of expressing different aspects of worship and helping followers to visualize aspects of their respective religions. Aztec art, however, was primarily created for religious…
How art embodies cultural identity (Aztec Vs.New nations of the US)
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