Michael Hussar. "Sweet Jesus". (2004). All rights reserved.

The 18th century was the age of descending of the religious art. From then on the profane art occupied the first position instead the sacral. But in fin de siecle age happened a big change concerning the Religious Art, there appeared the blasphemous Art. One of the protagonist of this current was the Belgian Fèlicien Rops. So, the 20th was a wide land for blasphemies in Art.

Today’s post is not about an strictly blasphemous image, even more, the image I present could reflect one of the mysteries of Christianity: the Holy Trinity.

I´m not sure if Michael Hussar knows the tradition of representing the Trinity by a three-headed figure. This iconography, according to Julius von Schlosser, was founded in 13th century in France by transforming a three-headed Celtic god. No doubt, this way is a convincing way to show this complex dogma of the Christianity. This iconography succeed all over Europe in the following centuries but was finally forbidden in Trent Council. The reason was that this was a monstrous image, far from the original dogma. For instance, the Protestants called it the christian Cerverus. But this fact couldn´t be effective in Latin America where this kind of representations stood alive till 19th century.

I wan to see in this artwork of Michael Hussar a modern view of three-headed Trinity. But in fact the intention of Hussar seems to manipulate the face of Christ mirroring half of it. The face has three eyes, two noses and a distorted mouth showing some teeth. The whole head is crowned by thorns, an down appears two hands that hold an organic cross.

The mirror is not perfect: Hussar modifies elements of the face to create an identity, not a simple double face. The hair of Jesus is brushed in the shape of two ringlets. There are strange elements, something like tears close to the mouth that could come from the central eye.

The whole image produces restlessness, it´s pathetic. The deformation of the face is the way to transmit the pain, the horror of Christ in the moment of torture and crucifixion. I want to compare this image with the bloody bodies of Spanish baroque Christs. Either we think this image represent the Trinity or a simple distortion of the face of Christ, It’s no doubt a contemporary way of transmitting suffering and pain.

We are living in a materialist world and it´s not usual to find Art to makes us to reflect about transcendental ideas. It´s not necessary to be Christian to look at this image and think about the human condition, the transcendental or the life after death. A painting to reflect.


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