Hello again classmates!
As we arrive to the end of the class I think the image that stood out to me most, which was kind of a curveball, was My Sweet Lord by Cosimo Cavallaro. Here is the image:
This is the giant, anatomically correct, sculpture of Christ that was supposed to be displayed at the Lab Gallery in Manhattan, New York. This artwork really stood out to me because of the film we watched in class. You guys remember right? The one in which Cosimo Cavallaro and Bill Donohue have a heated debate on CNN’s Anderson Cooper. In this video, Bill Donohue makes unnecessarily crass statements about the art community, and Cavallaro himself. Cosimo makes the statement that he chose chocolate as the medium because he likes the confection himself, and also because chocolates sweetness serves as a representation of how he sees Christ. Cosimo himself is catholic, and yet his decisions were not respected at all by Donohue who at one point even refers to artists as losers. This was all very ridiculous to me, but what made it even more ridiculous were the reasons sites by the Catholic League. For starters, they felt that the fact that Christ was disrobed and anatomically correct was a form of hate speech. What makes this an odd argument is that when Christ was crucified, he would have most likely have been nude, and would have also definitely have had the corresponding anatomic parts.
According to religious texts and historians, Christ was crucified by order of Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea of the Roman Empire. Roman use of crucifixion was the most brutal form of punishment that was used. There were usually several steps that were followed, and one of the agreed upon practices was that the recipient of the punishment was stripped nude. If this were the case, Jesus Christ would have in fact been nude when nailed or bound to the cross. This would then suggest that the only reason people assume that Christ had some form of cloth covering his genitals is because he has been depicted that way by the church. I am sure that the reasons for this are because of their decision to censor genitalia. This is a decision that has affected people even in the contemporary, and is a LIE. Why would it matter for Cosimo to portray Jesus in the nude if that is how he was executed? Also, why does making the body out of chocolate differ from the use of unleavened wafer bread, or even wine as a substitute for Christ’s blood during communion. The answer to me is simple. It is a matter of tradition. Just because Cavallaro decided to depict Christ in a fashion that is different than usually shown doesn’t make it ‘hate speech’.
Interesting note: There are several places that make chocolate religious candies and chocolates, including ones of Jesus. There’s even a beer named after him. No negative comment by the Catholic League. I suppose it only happens when you get to the next level of religious sensitivity: Catholic Lane See Here: