So, not so very long ago when I was an art student, I had a painting professor named Scott Anderson who was rather influential to my way of thinking and working. And, one of the things I picked up from him was a notion that one should “live with” a piece for a while. Let it hang around, see it daily. Not in active work, mind you, not developing, just around. And then, once you’ve lived with it a while, you can decide it’s done, or better make changes after you’ve determined what bothers you.
The notion of living with a piece is one that iconographer Janet Jaime could possibly have done well to have followed, based on the reception of a crucifix she created recently for St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Warr Acres, Oklahoma. The piece, pictured right there has apparently been viewed by some as having a really ginormous wang poking out of his loin cloth. Once it’s pointed out, it can’t be unseen even if you didn’t originally read the abdominal muscles that way. King among men indeed, sir.
Now, all this apparently happened this weekend while I was off having misadventures with bicycles and cavorting with interesting blondes, so the controversy is already over as Jaime has said she’ll modify it. But, I do get this awesome pull quote frm the local newspaper:
“She is very serious about her religion and wouldn’t in the slightest possibility ever imagine wanting to sneak a pee-pee on to Jesus.”
Gilmore, who helped Janet Jaime move the 10-foot tall crucifix out of her studio at her home near The Paseo Arts District before it was taken to the church, said it is difficult to tell while painting how contrast may appear from far away.
“She was maybe a foot away from it all the time she was painting it, and the only way you can see this is when it’s up and you’re 20 or 30 feet away, and then you get this gestalt of, ‘oh, look,’” Gilmore said.
The Holy Pee-Pee is something I could get behind. And, again people, live with your work and experience it from more than at your easel. Don’t just create, experience as a viewer will. It’s important. Sometimes more-so than others, apparently.