Having considered the act of creation through coding various processes to draw and paint, then documenting my code in my own image (see The code that moves the pen makes the image…), I’d been thinking about the use of religion as a tool of subjugation throughout history and bible-quoting conservative preachers, the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust, and I wondered, what if the Christ story didn’t have that vivid torture and murder component – would Christianity even exist?
Using the code I wrote to draw images with text, I created a scalable and relocatable typeface of my own handwriting (similar to the way I encoded a more conventional typeface – see First textual drawings) and drew the text, “What if Christ died of natural causes?” over and over in white ink on paper I’d painted black with sumi to draw my friend, the Tamarind Master Printer Aaron Shipps with a crown of Christmas tree lights (a gift from Megan and Leone).
The image shows two images of Aaron as Christ, joined at the shoulder. In the first is happy Christ who will die of old age and we’ll likely never hear anything further about him. The second image is Christ in agony, tortured, bloody, abandoned, dying, famously martyred to be remembered for millennia.
While I was mid-drawing, a businessman contemporary asked what I was working on. As I described the my idea and the drawing, I could see from his expression that he thought I was wasting my time, because WHO would want to buy such a thing?! Made me laugh and say, “Yup, yup, yup – sure to be among the most popular objects in my ever-growing huge collection of my own work!” Inquiries welcome, ($5,800 framed).