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Idol Chatter

It’s Holy Week, so it’s not that surprising to see all sorts of Jesuses are popping up in the art world. There was a “Chocolate Jesus,” and fellow blogger Douglas Howe mentioned something about a “hot buttered Jesus” (!!) in a recent post).

But young artist David Cordero is turning to democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama for divine inspiration. Obama is the model for Cordero’s senior art project, which is a looming statue of Obama as Jesus–and he’s grinning.

The Chicago Tribune reports: “An undergraduate student’s paper mache sculpture of Obama as a messianic figure–entitled “Blessing”–went on display Saturday at a West Loop gallery run by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. ‘All of this is a response to what I’ve been witnessing and hearing, this idea that Barack is sort of a potential savior that might come and absolve the country of all its sins,’ Cordero said. ‘In a lot of ways it’s about caution in assigning all these inflated expectations on one individual and expecting them to change something that many hands have shaped.'”

Obama has been quick to distance himself from the rendering, worrying that religious folks will be offended. Obama had nothing to do with Cordero’s project, his campaign stated publicly, and neither encouraged nor even knew that this display of “Obama Jesus” was in the works: “While we respect first amendment rights and don’t think the artist was trying to be offensive, Senator Obama, as rule, isn’t a fan of art that offends religious sensibilities,” said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

So far the Catholics have stayed silent. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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