The artist, a Charles Manson-resembling man named Cosimo Cavallari -- can that really be his real name? -- called his sculpture "My Sweet Lord," a cheeky reference to the George Harrison pop song. He even suggested people should come take a chocolaty bite out of his Jesus. The worst part of all this tweaking was the timing, which was no accident, mocking Christianity at the pinnacle of the Easter Season.
Cavallari's Website shows his appetite for sight gags and publicity stunts, which he defends as "art." His previous works of oddity have including a bed covered with shaved ham and an entire house covered with 10,000 pounds of melted cheese. Let's not omit the letters "V.I.P." spelled out in human excrement.
This was not the only Jesus sculpture in the news. In Chicago, a papier-mache sculpture combining Jesus and Sen. Barack Obama piggy-backed on the holiday season publicity. But in this case, the artist, 24-year-old David Cordero, is an agnostic Obama supporter who feels there are too many expectations surrounding his hero. His dean at the Art Institute of Chicago no doubt instructing his student in the art of controversy, claimed the sculpture was not "a provocative work at all," but merely "opens a set of questions." Artists never mean to provoke or offend, merely open a thoughtful seminar, they insist.
In Florida, one gallery refused to display a version of Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" that featured dogs as Jesus and his disciples. Ron Burns called his painting "Dinner and Drinks With Son of Dog." Burns claimed ridiculously that he thought it was merely a "fun idea," and "I wasn't trying to be controversial." The artist announced the painting would "fetch" a remarkable $65,000. He was featured on ABC News, and their anchors fit the ABC mold: They suggested it was a "whimsical riff," an exercise in free expression.
Don't believe any artist or TV executive who would tell you he wasn't attempting to be controversial by opportunistically mocking Christianity when the Christian holy days approach. They are merchants of malice, out to make a killing ... off of a killing.
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