David LaChapelle ‘Jesus is my home boy’

A video of the opening night of ‘Jesus is my homeboy’ in London (13/10/2008) made by Matt Robinson

What i found interesting about this video was finding out that in this shot

the tear which is a reference to the biblical story of Mary Magdalene but instead of washing Jesus’ feet with her tears, the tear on this womans face is seamen. This raises all sorts of questions, is it a reference to her prostitute past? is it about jesus’ apparent relationship with Mary Magdalene? LaChapelle leaves this to us to decode, he always says he isn’t trying to be controversial or shock anyone, maybe it’s because we live in such a sexualised culture this is how it might be in a modern day situation. A lot of people raise issues of sexuality in David LaChapelle’s work, in this case, Mary Magdalene has been depicted naked for a long time, it is meant to reference her sins, as LaChapelle is doing in this image by putting her in red underwear, the colour of the devil.

Maru Magdalene by Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli painted in the 1500's and she is naked

Controversial Twitter DP’s

For my essay I decided the way forward was to research self posted controversial images on social networking sites rather then looking for artists work.

From what I have experienced these have been the strongest cases of how self-representation online can backfire.

Serena Williams

This was the Image posted by Serena Williams, which caused controversy.

A little pervocative perhaps but not worth debate, that is until you learn that before this image was posted Williams had imposed a restraining order on a 40 year old man for stalking her, some saw this image as inappropriate because of this, like she is almost teasing men, but others like me think that the problem lies within the viewer rather then Serena, if you see this image and think that gives any one the right to stalk and intimidate Serena then thats not fair on her. However, as a twitter user I am used to the concept that celebrities are normal people who now have the power over the press. If this image for example was published in a Lads mag or any magazine then I might feel differently but the fact Serena Williams took the image in a a private area and then shared it on her twitter makes the image more innocent. I guess everyone see’s the online world differently.

You can watch ABC news’ coverage of the story in this video…

The Mary Profile Picture Project

Caroline Jaine created this Project, it’s aim was to create a cross-faith project in which people named Mary would send a profile picture of themselves via social medias to Caroline Jaine and she would exhibit them. Watch the video to see more.

Background info – taken from website

“Last year I learned that Mary was not just a key figure in the Catholic faith, but that the same woman – Maryam – is important in Islam too.  She is the only woman to be named in the Qur’an – in fact she has a whole chapter named after her.   And she was of course Jewish.  Although I am neither a Catholic nor Muslim nor Jew, I am a peace-builder, and the role that Mary could play as a bridge between faiths immediately interested me.

 As a visual artist concerned with portraiture, I am intrigued by how Mary is visually depicted – essentially in Catholicism.  Her grace and femininity are frequently illustrated, but she is often shown to be fragile, with her head bowed and eyes cast down.  Mary is seen by the faiths as the embodiment of integrity, compassion and honesty but she is also a single mother and a refugee and I wonder whether her resilience could be better portrayed?  How might a modern day Mary look?

 Across the globe there must be millions of Mary’s, Maryams, Marias and Miryams.  All taking the name of Our Lady – a living proof that she lives on amongst us all in many faiths.

This project is about demonstrating the diversity in the living Mary today. And exploring whether there is a power in her feminine quality, which is visually under-represented.

 *In some interpretations (but by no means all) Islam rejects depictions of humans and animals in art – especially stories from the Qur’an.  It is for this reason that I seek photographic images rather than painted or drawn self-portraits.  The aim of this project is to unite, not divide. “

Nan Goldin

I’ve never really “into” social documentary photography, so the best place to start is what i know, Nan Goldin…

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I remembered a few of her images had Cigarettes in but i didn’t realise how many. As a woman who surrounds herself by smokers Goldins work often shows them as a release, a moment of peace, happiness and stillness. A relationship, as a non smoker, i never really considered could happen. This could be a possible way forward… looking at human emotions when cigarettes meet lips. An idea i want to come back to, i don’t want to narrow my ideas down too soon.