Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Peekaboo Jesus" exposed as mere publicity stunt

1,2,3... RED LIGHT!The speculation is over for the throngs who have assembled outside Premier Video on Ashley Boulevard in New Bedford. The playful figure of religious icon Jesus The Christ has been revealed as the work of self-identified "street artist" Mark Carvalho, whose one-man show at Gallery X (Where they sell artwork. Unlike a museum. Which doesn't.) opens in May.
Ignoring a rarely-observed Biblical injunction against graven images (The Second Commandment), Carvalho's paint-on-paper-stuck-on-wall-with-wheat-paste image has attracted at least a dozen curious amateur art critics and close friends of Jesus The Christ who seemed to know full well what He was doing on the wall. All of whom have added to the superstitious melodrama and rancorous self-righteousness featured every day in the utterly irrelevent "comments" section of the local newspaper's online presence.

"Art is subjective to the viewer," he [Carvalho] said. "I liken it to an ink blot test. It's going to tell us something about that individual as well as the artist's message." (
Some have suggested that The Artist Formerly Known as Anonymous should turn his considerable illustration talents to other depictions of other obvious and hard to misinterpret icons which cause interpretation dust-ups among the feeble-witted. Some suggestions included: an atomic mushroom cloud, a unicorn, or skull-and-crossed bones.
As we sense the cooldown of this manufactured and contrived fervor, the indignant backlash against The Artist Formerly Known as Anonymous should heat up just in time for his (indoor) Gallery show. So, here's a picture -- taken this morning in my sun room -- of another beautiful epiphyte, often misreckoned as living on dead stuff but still eliciting oohs and aahs:Saint Phalaenopsis beat MidTown Xavier in hoops

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