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Sacrilege and Art: The Flesh of Christ

 
 
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 11:38 pm
http://img156.imageshack.us/img156/9165/fleshofchristiv2.jpg

I don't know who painted this, as I just found it making my rounds on the web but it is a strong piece that made me start thinking of sacrilege and art.

A lot of art, and I think this is a good example, seems to derive all of its power from the strength of its sacrilege and not from any other artistic value it has. This one combines a lot of it, ripping off The Last Supper, bastardizing the "Flesh of Christ" concept and serving up a gory and gruesome bit of art.

What do you think of sacrilegious art? Do you have any good examples to share?
 
ossobuco
 
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Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 11:46 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Of the top of my head, I think it's borne of rage.
Will think on it further.
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tarakesh
 
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Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 01:24 am
@Robert Gentel,
Hi Robert.
When I took art classes in college a few years ago, I noticed that a number of students would try to shock you with their art.
I guess I don't get it-- I like art to be positive or constructive or at least informative-- unlike the sacrilegious art I've come across (like the crucifix in urine art piece). It's easy to make something shocking-- we have plenty of taboos to choose from.
But, maybe it's useful as a form of therapy? A way of lashing out and telling the world (or your oppressively religious parents) "F- you"? In which case it would be constructive for the artist.
Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 01:38 am
@tarakesh,
I was guilty of being one of those students once. I wanted to take up oils and decided to take a class on it. I'd never learned about art through a class but with oils I wanted to know a couple of key things about it before starting (like whether it needs to be mixed with a thinner etc) and I found a small art store that had some classes.

They tried to start me off that day on a landscape, and I bought the canvas and paint and got started. As soon as I'd figured out what I needed to know I asked for another and painted something more in line with what I found interesting at the time.

It was a bust of a bald blue head with its mouth open and screaming, and in the place of the eyes was two screaming mouths as well. I rounded it off with a bar code on the forehead and was done for the afternoon (thus ending my one and only day of art class).

The teacher and other students were shocked by it, and couldn't stop talking about it and every time I went back to buy more canvases they'd ask about it till I finally ended up giving it to them.

I wasn't trying to shock them, or at least wasn't only trying to, but the landscape they had me paint was boring and I wanted something that said more than "cottage and a tree on a hill". What was in my mind those days was dark and I liked dark art and dark imagery and I think it was just who I was at the time even though I did like the reactions I got from the art I would have painted dark or shocking themes because that's the mood I was in back then.
tarakesh
 
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Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 10:52 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I used to like art with dark and downright frightening themes when I was younger (and angst-ridden) too-- I probably would have found your painting super cool back then.
I guess I'm not against all art with dark themes. Still love Goya-- his art is dark but also aesthetically pleasing and thoughtful for the most part.
It just annoys me to see art that's all shock and little thought.
Robert Gentel
 
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Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 10:59 pm
@tarakesh,
tarakesh wrote:

It just annoys me to see art that's all shock and little thought.


I think that's the key for me as well. Blending goldfish as art doesn't cut it for me as an example.
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dlowan
 
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Reply Mon 15 Sep, 2008 12:50 am
@Robert Gentel,
I'm not religious enough to get stirred up by sacreligious art, generally.

The painting you posted is too grand guignol for me...but it is kind of interesting in manifesting literally the death-cult/eating god thing.....makes me think of the god-symbol killing religions that christianity seems to take its communion from. They were, of course, a lot bloodier generally than the christian version.

It interests me too because it makes me think of how shocking the images of a tortured fella hanging from a cross would have been to people not accustomed to associating torture and killing with religion, not to mention the notion of transubstantiation!


I find some of Kahlo's work interesting in the way it uses Catholic iconography, but I don't think it was ever regarded as sacreligious, was it? Funny how Kahlo has become an icon in her own right...raises some interesting ideas for sacrelige of a different sort.

The goldfish thing probably creates in me some of the feelings that that Last Supper would for many christians.......gratuitous cruelty horrifies me.


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