A scandal over the "sexualized" painting of Jesus Christ breaks out in Spain: Catholic organisation demands public apology from the artist
The image of a half-naked Jesus Christ caused a wave of outrage among conservative Spaniards. They called Christ "sexualized" and "homoerotic." The painting was created by Seville artist Salustiano Garcia. He depicted the Messiah after his resurrection from the dead, standing half-naked against a blood-red background.
It was the small amount of cloth on Jesus' body that outraged society as he is usually depicted fully clothed. The Daily Mail reports that this poster was created specifically to advertise Easter week in Seville, Spain. However, it seems to have become an anti-advertisement, given the outrage.
"This is absolutely shameful and deviated from the truth," said the ultra-conservative Catholic organization IPSE.
At the time, the Council of Brotherhoods and Guilds, which organizes the main events of Easter week in Seville, called the image of Christ "the shining side of Holy Week" in "the purest style of this prestigious artist." In particular, Salustiano Garcia created the painting based on the appearance of his son Horacio.
The IPSE report said that Jesus was depicted as "feminine" and "campy." The organization also demands a public apology from Garcia for the inconsistency of Christ's appearance with the "spirit of Holy Week." Javier Navarro of the ultra-conservative Vox party believes that the painting was created to provoke people, not to encourage them.
"To see sexuality in my image of Christ, you have to be crazy. There is nothing in the painting that has not been depicted in works of art dating back hundreds of years," the artist said in his defense.
Nevertheless, Garcia's work was supported by the leader of the ruling Socialist Party in southern Andalusia Juan Espadas, saying that the image of Christ combines "tradition and modernity" of the region.