“KFJ” (Kentucky Fried Jesus) 肯德基炸耶穌 – 127x97cm- Oil on Canvas, 2010
This painting symbolizes the mystery of the ‘historical’ Jesus Christ, which has been completely buried beneath church tradition. What is worshiped and taught and preached is not the Jesus that was, but the theology of spiritual values to which Jesus has been assigned a historical role.
In contemporary culture, meanwhile, Jesus has been commoditized. The new Jesus is palatable, tasty, deep-fried, but ultimately full of trans fats and msg. It is packaged and addicting and powerful, but less healthy than a simple bowl of veggies and rice.
Although powerful, bloody and disturbing – please note that Jesus is calmly giving a thumbs up sign; his right index finger doing a disco dance move. Christian tradition in the 4th century AD turned away from celebrating the resurrection of Christ and placed more emphasis on mourning his gruesome death, in an effort to increase feelings of guilt, sin, personal responsibility, and gratitude. It is forgotten, however, that Jesus spent an eternity in heaven both before and after this event. While God punishes sinners to an eternity of torture, Jesus’ torture was but a fleeting moment in his existence. Moreover, the fact that Jesus is considered as ‘fully God’ led many earlier believers to doubt whether he could suffer pain at all (or eat, drink or defecate).
In the Gnostic tradition, there is a story of how Jesus only appeared to have been crucified, or that he was laughing on the cross, or that someone else took his place. Although an important symbolic event, the idea of Jesus suffering, but then rising from the dead unharmed (and knowing before he died that he would be fine and come back) seriously pales in comparison to those bold brave few who suffered real torture, or gave their lives to save others – even when they weren’t planning to resurrect.
Oil on Canvas Surrealism Oil Painting by Derek Murphy www.derekmurphyart.com