Depicting a religious deity as a violent figure may seem so passé (heard the news from Denmark lately?). But hold everything: There's some new sacrilege and blasphemy, and you don't have to Google the hell out of it to check it out. Simply pick a time that's good for you (today, perhaps), make an appointment at the Jim Olive Gallery, and you can gaze at a 12-foot image of Jesus as a Suicide Bomber. The photograph is part of a new FotoFest 2006 exhibit, "The Vulcan Girls, Jesus and Fred George."
George, an NYC artist known for his quirky and edgy work, first unveiled Jesus in 2000 as an examination of free speech versus freedom of religion. But that was before 9/11, and before cartoons of a menacing Muhammad caused a worldwide furor in the Muslim community last month. The black-and-white Jesus photo depicts a young Messiah on the cross, replete with nails in his hands, a crown of thorns on his head and an impressive pack of explosives strapped around his waist. Two attractive women represent mother Mary and Mary Magdalene in mourning poses. Religiosity aside, it's a striking piece. And you can't help but wonder how Christians who suggested that Muslims were being a little too pissy will react at the sight of their savior done up as a human explosive. (Interestingly, the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston is aware of the image and withholding comment.)
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If Jesus isn't your thing, George's Vulcan Girls may offer up more of a bang. The sexually charged photos are infused with American, Russian and Japanese imagery (you can check them out at www.vulcangirls.com). His subjects are represented as women who come to American cities and become industrialized, technological beings. The sensual -- and freaky -- ladies look like extras in a Kevin Costner apocalyptic movie, or maybe like stars of a Duran Duran video, circa 1984.
March 31-April 30