Western devotion is located in the secular fields of popular and commodity culture. I am using vernacular images from these fields to make devotional paintings of Jesus. My source material is culled from fashion and Hollywood - languages of spiritual poverty. In this way, each image has to transmigrate from the profane to approach the hallowed through the process of painting, if at all plausible.
The Jesus paintings are imagined and idealized representations of thirty-three year old men with beards, long hair, and simple clothing. Beyond that the paintings have to embody the icon of Jesus, without any of the associated iconography – no halos, crowns of thorns, blood, sacred hearts, or hand gestures. I am not trying to lead the viewer by loading the image, but rather touch on more nuanced associations that are firmly established in the collective consciousness.
Each Jesus painting is a different iteration of a fixed set of ideals, and the process is a visual form of searching that may be understood as analogous to spiritual seeking. The paintings in relation to each other concede failure, and failure separates the seeker from that which is sought. It is in this fissure that the idea of Jesus, as an externalized, imagined ideal, is possible.