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A Pierre Pinoncelli self-portrait
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by Jerry Saltz

God is not an art lover. At least that's what a lot of people have surmised over the centuries, citing as proof the second commandment that states "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. . . or carve idols. . . for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God." In addition to suggesting that God knows there are other gods, proscriptions like this appear throughout the Bible -- in Deuteronomy, for example, God decrees that stone shall not be "hewn." The Koran contains similar prohibitions. Basically, you may look upon the things of the world, but don't reproduce them.


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