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Not only does the internet love Cecilia Gimenez and her Beast Jesus restoration job — so do real life, flesh-and-blood people! Apparently hundreds of tourists have begun making pilgrimages to see the work and take pictures with it, after the apparently well-intentioned octogenarian Eskimo-fied Elías García Martínez’s 19th-century fresco of Jesus. The painting sits on a column between two altars in the Iglesia del Santuario de Misericordia church in Borja, Spain, a small town with a population of around 5,000. Who said the internet was only good for weak ties?
According to the AFP, there’s also a petition circulating online to leave the painting in all its new folk-art glory, rather than have professionals attempt to repair and restore to its former state. Although it’s in Spanish, a translation via Google offers some insight. The author, Javier Domingo, calls Gimenez’s work “a subtle critique of creationist theories of the Church, as well as [a] question[ing of] the emergence of new idols.” We couldn’t agree more — except maybe to point out that Jesus isn’t really a new idol. Domingo goes on to link her style to Goya, James Ensor, Munch, Modigliani and the German Expressionists. More than 20,000 people have signed it.
But even though she’s getting tons of love from both the internet and visiting tourists, 81-year-old Gimenez is in bed after having an anxiety attack about the whole affair. It doesn’t help that the city council is apparently contemplating legal action against her. Now that she’s bringing in tourists, will they relent? Or will this become a battle pitting the government versus the people, the art establishment versus the 99%?
Going from virtual unknown to creator of the biggest internet meme since the pepper-spray cop must be a lot to handle, so Gimenez’s anxiety makes sense. Except there’s still that one nagging question we’ve wondered about all along: why didn’t she put down her brush and ask for help as soon as she realized she was out of her depth?
We may never know. In the meantime, we think should get out of bed and go greet her fans like the star that she is. Pose with them! Sign the work! Own it. Maybe the Borja City Council can work out an acquisition with the American Folk Art Museum. There may even be a movie deal waiting to happen.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…