Personal Jesus

Christopher Jeauhn Bayne, 2022

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Based on the painting Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), by Mario Minniti produced in 1610, (who also based his work on a similar painting by Caravaggio), Personal Jesus depicts the biblical scene of Jesus Christ being presented to the crowd by Pontius Pilate. Here, the artist has taken a bold stance, and added a leather harness, a common element of the SM segment of the LGBTQIA+ community, which has now become fashionable and mainstream. The soldier in the right of the work appears to rip off the cloak, exposing the chest of Jesus, while Pilate appears to present the exposure to the crowd. It is exactly here that the artist positions the harness, not as a blasphemous comment, but as a comment on forced exposure, on the repeated ‘coming out’ that LGBTQIA+ people need to endure, in front of a potentially jeering, and often life threatening, crowd. Although using the LGBTQIA+ community as part of the storytelling process, Personal Jesus, is a metaphor for the involuntary exposure and public ridicule of all those who have committed the social crime of simply being different.


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