Christ – Self portrait series


A series of overlapping frames portraying the deity, Jesus Christ. In Biblical terms, it is the  process towards his transfigurration. Through these layers of light, this corporeal figure is last substantial image as Man.

This study began as a superimposition using the Christ icon over Paul Gauguin’s painting called the Yellow Christ. At first, I experienced a degree of anger and frustration as I attempted to mold myself into his painting. But during the series of stills, I realized that the portraits took on the work of Saint Sebastian, the martyr, and it alluded to a romanticized and sexualized bearer rather than a weighted and suffering Christ.

With the series of frames taken at this wall, I encountered at first, a man who was more likely dead, tied to a post, and that the weigh of his flesh gave a meaning to an excruciating and forbearing pain. Then, for a split second, I felt no past, no future, no sex, (male or female) a nothingness of emptiness and an omnipresence of peace.


The martyr, Saint Sebastian

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This photograph taken by the Bookmann recalls the famous Shroud of Turin which is believed to be literally a bloody snapshot of The Christ. The image is deliberately blurred to give no fixed background, yet it is clear from repetitive imagery, exactly who he is portraying.
This sense of Performance Art and Portraiture reminds you of the prolific Cindy Sherman, who has used herself in many guises for more than a decade.

Appropriating imagery and then turning it on its ear is not new, however, these images by their choice, the large, the powerful, the omnipotent, make you question the artist’s sense of self importance. Yet, he also provides a sense of amusement within the works as well, as the place he chooses to shoot is revealed faintly and we know that it is actually a staging of famous art.

So why go to the trouble of repeating such known imagery? In this interpretation of the classic, I suspect that what is old is new again, and The Bookmann is playing with such traditions to test their boundaries and to literally get into the characters that were ‘idealized’ for public consumption. Through his insertion into these works, he is literally putting a human face on the famous. – Adele

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