Friday, October 17, 2014

The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision

A project in the making since the year 2000 is finally coming to fruition and I hope out of obscurity.

The book is now on sale at Amazon.

The paintings were recently featured by The Advocate on their webpage.

The book now has its own website, a splendid creation of author Kittredge Cherry, with a beautiful Youtube video by Andrew Craig Williams in Wales and Kitt's partner Audrey Lockwood.

I spent 5 years painting this series, and Kittredge Cherry spent almost that long writing her splendid text transforming these paintings into a spiritual meditation:

Endless rows of corpses fill a vast black space in Jesus Among the Dead.  Even in death, Jesus is not separate from humanity.  He lies with the skeletons, the dead bodies, and the stink -- a common man in a common grave.  Jesus can be identified by his crucifixion wounds.  His corpses only stands out because it has not begun to decompose.  He glows just slightly with a sick luminescence.  Jesus just lies there, not judging, not rescuing, not rising.  He is simply present with people in the darkest state of their being.  This must be hell, or some human holocaust.  Perhaps there is no difference.  


The book is starting to get some international press.  Here is a feature in the UK Pink News.
The comments are the usual horrified fundamentalists, Gay-Christian = Jewish-Nazi comments, and why-didn't-you-paint-Jesus-as-a-disabled-lesbian-of-color comments.
Ah well, I better get used to it.  I knew I would be stepping on a lot of toes when I started painting this 14 years ago.  I shouldn't be so surprised when people complain.


Kittredge Cherry said...

Your Passion paintings have been wonderful companions in my own spiritual journey as I looked at, reflected upon and wrote about them. I’m glad you singled out “Jesus Among the Dead” here because that was one of the most challenging ones to see and write about.

This post makes me realize how many years have passed. Now we’re entering a new phase as we release the book to the world. May it enrich and enlighten many lives!

JCF said...

CONGRATS, DOUG!!! Mazel Tov!

"the usual horrified fundamentalists": well, they're easily enough dismissed (after all, isn't "horrified" the USUAL state of a Fundamentalist?)

Any usual vituperative gay anti-theists? I find their slings&arrows can actually hurt...

Leonard said...

I find your paintings captivating and pure (even when the subject almost stopa my heart). Thanks, Doug for keeping my blood racing through my heart and body.

Felicidades and MORE (I always want much more of whatever it is that I like).

Kittredge Cherry said...

I know what you mean about how sometimes it's hard to take the negative comments. Don't despair -- my supporters tell me that these are "badges of honor" that mean we are right on target raising important issues.

At times like this my supporters remind me of what Oscar Wilde said: "The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about."

I also try to focus on the positive comments. For example, at Pink News I love the one that said, "Priceless...the REAL Jesus. he was gay as I.."

When all else fails, I try looking at the Passion paintings and reconnecting with Jesus!

JCF said...

"When all else fails, I try looking at the Passion paintings and reconnecting with Jesus!"

Words of (Holy) Wisdom, KC.

Over on The Episcopal Cafe, I was just accused of "self-idolatry"* so am now trying to practice this Wisdom...

* In connection to the Current Unpleasantness at General Theological Seminary. Doug, you're close by: anything to offer about this, or are you steering clear?

JCF said...

I note also that some of your critics at the Advocate seem to have confused "A Gay Vision" for (what you never claimed, Doug) "The Gay Vision".

No, Jesus is not a "white hipster". But he's not NOT a white hipster, either. Jesus is Big Enough to reflect any and ALL of us (and vice-versa!)

Counterlight said...

Thank you JCF, and you're absolutely right. This is A gay vision, not THE gay vision. As Mother Theresa supposedly said, if you want a true image of Christ, then look to your left and to your right at the people around you.

As for General Seminary, I really don't know much more than you do about it. I know a lot of people who are deeply upset by what happened there. There seems to be a wave of such crises and conflicts between administrators and faculty in colleges around here. My college just went through a big fight with a former president. I know Nassau County college is going through some kind of horrendous crisis involving faculty strikes.