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Michael Belk's modern Jesus photographs

 
 
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 11:43 am
Belk is a noted fashion photographer who has worked for Vogue, Vanity Fair, etc. Now he's working on a something different: The Journeys Project (http://thejourneysproject.com/)

Here are some images from the work:

http://hiscrivener.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/jesus-and-the-nazi.jpg

http://demossnews.com/journeysproject/images/pc04_journeyswithmessiah_w.jpg

http://demossnews.com/journeysproject/images/pc02_journeyswithmessiah_w.jpg

Reviews have been really mixed but I think the photos are very thought provoking.

What do you think?
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Type: Question • Score: 19 • Views: 18,985 • Replies: 29
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 11:52 am
@boomerang,
My first thought is "aren't we past Jesus as being of Northern European descent?".

Then when I actually look at the photos, I think that the second one looks like a riff off My Name is Earl.

They are photos that seem to be based in United States media. They seem a bit school-project-y.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 11:53 am
interesting, i like the ones posted, off to check out the site
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tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 11:54 am
@boomerang,
Cool beans! The sepia tones are pitch perfect with the dust bowl like revisionist universe.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 11:59 am
@boomerang,
okay, now that i've seen the rest, a little to schmaltzy for my tastes, i really only like the nazi and dust bowl one that were posted
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 12:10 pm
I believe they were all shot in Italy and the "Jesus" is Italian.

I agree that many of the images are sugary but I think they're well executed, in an interview Belk said "Jesus didn't come to found a religion, he came to deliver a message" and that's what he's trying to show.

There's some interesting commentary about the Nazi photo around the net: would Jesus, a Jew, forgive the Nazis? Is Jesus armed or did he disarm the soldier?
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 12:18 pm
@djjd62,
I think there is an intentional and mildly campish quality to the remainder of the collection especially seen here http://thejourneysproject.com/image-detail.aspx?id=309. It could be ode to the everyman storied silent films of yesteryear.
Besides, Jesus standing next to a Ferrari is a visual hoot!
http://thejourneysproject.com/image-detail.aspx?id=310

Not a perfect collection in all rights. The couple of shots Jesus with child/children just carbon copy the saccharine style seen in the compositions of the talentless hacks that publish those born-again pamphlets. The Safe Harbor shot also fails in its obvious propagandist laden schmaltziness. Then again these shots could be a satirical take on that medium of publications which in their sarcastic delivery might have failed to deliver its intended critical message.
0 Replies
 
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 12:54 pm
@boomerang,
Fascinating. I have no idea whatever what his point is, but it's interesting stuff.
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NickFun
 
  2  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 02:10 pm
Those aren't modern pictures! Obviously they were taken in the 1940's. It disturbs me that Jesus is giving advice to Hitler!
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 29 Nov, 2009 02:15 pm
@NickFun,
Do you think he was recruited by Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh to counsel Hitler?
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2009 08:29 pm
@tsarstepan,
Perhaps Tsar. However, in this picture, I can only imagine Jesus saying to Hitler, "It's the Jews that killed me you know".

And in the bottom picture a caption reading, "What kind of luggage would Jesus carry?"
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2009 08:36 pm
@NickFun,
Quote:
WLWJC?

You ever think about a career in marketing? Madison Ave. would love your style NF! Wink
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2009 09:02 pm
@NickFun,
NickFun wrote:

Those aren't modern pictures! Obviously they were taken in the 1940's. It disturbs me that Jesus is giving advice to Hitler!



One would have to hope that Hitler didn't listen.
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Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Mon 30 Nov, 2009 09:18 pm
I'm quite fond of the rendering below:

http://thechumslick.com/media/blogs/fathead/2.26.08-jesus.jpg
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 12:10 am
@Gargamel,
Gargamel wrote:

I'm quite fond of the rendering below:

http://thechumslick.com/media/blogs/fathead/2.26.08-jesus.jpg



yeah....but you know he's gonna be hanging upside down in a second....from the nails in his feet!
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 08:32 am
@boomerang,
Quote:
I agree that many of the images are sugary but I think they're well executed, in an interview Belk said "Jesus didn't come to found a religion, he came to deliver a message" and that's what he's trying to show.

There's some interesting commentary about the Nazi photo around the net: would Jesus, a Jew, forgive the Nazis? Is Jesus armed or did he disarm the soldier?


http://hiscrivener.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/jesus-and-the-nazi.jpg

I don't think he's forgiving the Nazi at all ... I think in this photograph he's trying to reason with the Nazi, almost trying to persuade him, change his way of thinking, perhaps? Why he has the rifle, I don't know. But he doesn't look at all threatening, or as if he'd even consider using it. And the Nazi doesn't seem at all threatened. Nor is he even remotely persuaded by Christ's eloquent arguments. That Nazi uniform is a much more frightening symbol of hardness & power than the rifle is, though.

I don't know what to make of the second photograph. It's the most complex of the three.


McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 08:51 am
@dlowan,

Quote:
yeah....but you know he's gonna be hanging upside down in a second....from the nails in his feet!


Quirky. But observant.

I like that.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 09:42 am
@boomerang,
Personally, I don't much care about Jesus, and I don't much care about kitsch, so that's two counts against the pictures. Nice lighting though.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 09:52 am
@Thomas,
I'm not a Christian but I like Jesus, or, you know, the idea of Jesus. I especially like the idea of Jesus as this guy who helps out where he's needed and I guess that's what I see in these photos.

And I love photography!

What would have made the series really hit me over the head was if he had used different people to portray Jesus while keeping all the other elements stylistically the same. That would have been interesting!

The fact that I don't believe the same thing this photograper does doesn't mean I can't appreciate his work and see the merit of his ideas.

Msolga -- I too thought the second photo was interesting. I'd love to know what book the guard (?) is reading since Jesus seems to be the only one interested in it.
NickFun
 
  1  
Reply Tue 1 Dec, 2009 06:26 pm
@Gargamel,
Gargamel wrote:



http://thechumslick.com/media/blogs/fathead/2.26.08-jesus.jpg



Look! Up on the Cross! It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's SUPER JESUS!!!
0 Replies
 
 

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