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"Crucifixion Haiti" by Helen David

SEEING CHRIST

Contemporary Artists Imagine Christ Today

In every age, from the first century until now, the urge to recreate the image of Jesus seems to have been irresistible. Artists of many cultures speaking out of the context of their place and time have interpreted again and again the person and idea of Jesus.

In the early months of 2000, a appeal was made to artists to submit original works illustrating the person and ministry according to their 21st century perspective, to create a new image of Jesus. The following pictures represent some of art that was the response to this challenge.

About the artwork and the artists, P. W. Sporrong has written:

"What I found most striking was that all of the artists had personalized the question and constructed a Jesus who spoke to them. The questions I had originally asked myself were, 'What are the artists of our time envisioning? Who is it they expect or want to see?' The question I ended with was, 'Who or what am I looking for that will move me and communicate all that is God commingled with humanity?'

"The challenge had one simple demand: one must only give attention to concept and craft and to one important question: Who is Jesus? All of this strikes me as remarkably in keeping with the revolutionary, full-spirited, unpredictable person Jesus was who came some 2,000 years ago and set the world on its ear. I think Jesus would have relished these images!

"Artist Tom Fox said he thought the 'collective cry of longing of so many' can be found in the response that is this collection of paintings. I asked a Jewish friend, an artist, what she thought the Messiah might look like. She paused for a moment, then replied that the Messiah might appear as a state of mind – one of great peace. Her response made me wonder if each of us yearns for the one who lives up to our hopes, our needs, our deepest wishes. This small insight helped me prepare for the images I would see in the process of looking for a new image of Jesus."

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