Thursday, August 20, 2009

Homocentric images of the last supper

Three very different images of the "Last Supper" - all, I would say, with their own integrity - all making a point for their time. The first one is of 'Bears', clustering around a drag queen (as Jesus). The second is also homo-erotic - but with women as the focus. The last is the well known Michaelangelo.
Depending on one's prejudices, each will have their own triggers for the viewer. 'Bears', for instance, are a particular sub-category of gay culture. The fact that most of us gay white men end up bears, is either a sad (or a happy) reality!
The wymyn in the second picture, I will grant you, look a bit as though they are extras for the set of "The L-Word". But pictured as they are, and clustered in this traditional pose, they make a particular point.
The thing I wonder, is not why would straight people find these images offensive - as they probably would. What continues to confuse me, is why Gay and Lesbian people would - (which, in my experience of showing them, they often do). The answer lies, I would think, in the complete dominance of explicitly hetero-normative imagery in the Christian church, even when the theme itself lends itself to homocentric interpretation, such as this one.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this wonderful post! I collect and promote queer images of the Last Supper as a way to expand our ability to see God and the holiness of LGBT people.

    Thanks for helping liberate us from what you so accurately call “the complete dominance of explicitly hetero-normative imagery” in Last Supper interpretations.

    What is the source for the top image with the “bears”? I have never seen this one before, and I would like to contact the artist so I can post it on my blog, too.

    There are two other homocentric version of the Last Supper that you and your readers will enjoy.

    A Leather Last Supper done as a poster for the Folsom Street Fair:

    It was so controversial that I did a second post about it:

    There is also a lovely version emphasizing the romantic love between Jesus and the Beloved Disciple. It’s a Last Supper painting by lesbian artist Becki Jayne Harrelson. You can see it at the following link. Be sure to scroll down to look at the detail that shows their affectionate pose more clearly:

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