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This is meant to resemble the Pietà, a work–predominantly represented sculpturally–wherein the Virgin Mary cradles Jesus Christ’s crucified body.
In general, I’m not into religious art–it’s largely redundantly boring and although I realize the majority of it was conceptualized as a means of earning a living through the practice of one’s art while also encoding religious work with a humanist undertow.
Pietàs are a notable exception–there’s just something viscerally affecting about them.
It took seeing this image for me to realize why I dig Pietàs: art historically the aren’t exactly erotic in form of fashion but they are decidedly physical. Christ’s musculature assuming a taut not of will but driven by the pull of his body’s weight by gravity. The duality of the Virgin’s attention to both the emptiness of the vessel as well as the vessel itself.
If the Virgin did cradle her son’s body after he was taken down and before he was put into the tomb, he almost certainly would have been naked–after all Mark 15:24 notes the soldiers guarding him gambled for possession of his garments.
With Pietàs there is always a feeling that the cloth in which Christ’s junk is shrouded, was a concession to the holy patrons that commissioned the works and less an interest of the artist.
So while I don’t think the above is well executed–I am entirely enamored with it as pushes the erotic undertow to the fore. (I think there’s a great deal of room to explore various erotic notions with this form: la petite mort, angel lust and any number of other coded references. (One of my favorite erotic Pietàs is by the incredibly talented Paula Aparicio.)
Further I think there’s a winking bit of blasphemy to this as Jesus–if he actually existed as a legitimate historical figure–was a 33 year old man with a 36 hour refractory period. Whereas, the gentleman pictured above is already risen again.