More image reactions

Religion in the work of Pierre et Gilles and David LaChapelle

“The first images, once I got  over my Anglican shock I actually like, I am not sure if it a mocking image, Jesus in biblical dress, but I like the idea of the people he is with.
Second image is very pretty but too sexual for my idea of a religious picture, like the gorgeous male angel photos, you end up worshipping the image” – Mandy Baker, Youth Worker

“Interesting images!
With the David LaChapelle pictures, I liked the clash between the “traditional” dress/image of Jesus with that of modern culture. They all emphasised that religion is current and should be relevant; that this is where Jesus would be – and through us, where we should be acting today. Though we often shy away from being there. Being set in a modern culture, it is easier to relate to the scenario being depicted, and this makes the images more powerful.
The Last Supper representation jarred for me with the age of the followers versus my own image of this. But it highlighted this is where religion ought to be speaking – when we are most dynamic and active. Not dusty old churches and dusty congregations!
The Washing of Jesus feet, is very graphic and quite shocking. But Jesus is there; is accepting of this girl. I liked the image because it really draws you up and makes you think about our own reactions.
The Arrest of the Prostitute again shows Jesus standing in the middle of the situation. A reminder of where, with our faith, we should be.
The image by Pierre et Gilles of St.Sebastien really didn’t do anything for me. The “eyes” don’t tell the same story as the rest of the picture – and I find that hard to look beyond. So the picture does not speak to me of religion or in religious way, or help me with my faith.” – David Commander, Cannon

“All the paintings provoked an immediate emotional response but for different reasons.
David La Chapelle
1. Is this the last supper? They have drinks, a bowl with water, and are in animated discussion about something. Jesus however remains detached, in an ethereal light, with hazy characters in the background and a cross above his head.
This makes me sad as I see him as a real person, joining in the discussion not sitting looking like an icon of divinity. Is he an intruder or a guest? I would like to think that in any gathering of friends he would be like my friend, dressing as we dress, and wanting to communicate with us.
2. I felt real empathy with the ‘Mary’ figure. Beautifully portrayed seediness and inference of prostitution. Jesus looks away into the distance and is not connected to her in any way. It makes me feel angry that the artist wouldn’t show his sympathy for her and his love.
3. Jesus surrounded by a divine light again. What a contrast to the suffering in the scene. I found myself asking why the artist doesn’t show Jesus as real in our lives today. The memory of the way he lived should impinge on our lives in a physical and spiritual way but the painting shows none of that.
Pierre et Gilles.
A beautiful portrayal of innocence and violence at the same time. Even the piercing of the arrows could not destroy the beauty of his character and spiritual nature. There was no blood, no pain, it was surreal, but the impact was amazing. The overcoming of physical violence and its ugliness.” – Eileen Misslebrook

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