Friday, March 30, 2007

Chocolate Crucifix Controversy

Artist Cosimo Cavalarro created this life-sized, extremely realistic sculpture of the crucified Christ out of -- get this -- chocolate. It is part of an exhibit that is slated to open on Monday at the Roger Smith Lab Gallery in downtown Manhattan. However, the sculpture has offended some (no, really? Art offends people?) The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights is calling for a boycott of a hotel that accompanies the gallery, and has written to over 500 religious and civil organizations to participate in the boycott.

Offensive or not, I think the sculpture is amazing. I mean, look at that detail! After reading the CNN coverage of the controversy, it sounds like most of the people in the offended camp are upset at the nudity, not so much the medium. If that's the case, then what's up with that? It's not shown in a sexual way, and wasn't Jesus stripped of all his clothing when he was crucified? It kind of brings to light the nastiness of that sort of execution, and the humiliation of his ordeal, if you ask me. It was not a pretty, Renaissance painting scenario. To prettify it kind of takes away the agony and humiliation of public execution, and the cruelty of those performing the deed.

And the medium? Chocolate kind of makes sense for Easter, and then if you think about the communion wafer being consumed as the body of Christ, it's kind of interesting to think about an entire life-sized, intricate representation of Christ made from something consumabale (and enjoyable!)

It will be interesting to see if the show opens on Monday, as planned, or not. I am not personally offended by the piece, but I am also an artist, so I am looking through an artist's eyes. I can see how some would probably be offended, though.


Chris James said...

Isn't it the point of art---sometimes anyway---to start a conversation and get people to use new little bits of their brain, regardless of their side of the arguement.

Anything that gets a dialouge going is A-OK with me.

the laughing gypsy said...

Hear, hear! Well spoken Chris. Here are the thoughts it provoked in me: