Friday, July 15, 2005
I am working on a few religious-themed images for use in our early worship services at my church. They are meant to illustrate different themes from scripture. This image is supposed to illustrate the parable of the Sower from the Gospel of Matthew. Obviously I am very much influenced by Caravaggio in this piece. When I am doing these religious pieces, it's hard not to go back to the masters--of course they are the ones responsible for the White-Anglo-Saxon-Ted Nugent vision of Jesus that is so prevalent in our culture. I am very much trying to move away from that--although I don't know that I succeeded here. He is still looking a little Nordic to me.
Who knows what Jesus really looked like? I would hypothesize that he was probably similar in appearance to naitive arabs in and around the middle east as opposed to modern-day Israelis. Israel's population today has a large number of people of European descent--Russian, German, Hungarian, etc... as well as American. I don't know. It's sort of cool to think about. I am interested in these things from an anthropological point of view.
Of course modern western popular culture has "had its way" with Jesus. Check out Jesus of the Week for a laugh at the different images of Jesus.