I put the series “God of the Damned” together to illustrate my belief that God is uniquely with those who suffer. I have taken three photos and superimposed a picture of Jesus’ face onto the victims in order to emphasize my conviction that God suffers with those who suffer injustice. It is important to note the canvas for Christ’s face is a wrinkled, brown, paper bag.1 My artistic intention was to capture the rich poetry behind Isaiah’s observation that “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Is. 55:2).
I have also added a subtitle and a verse with each piece to appropriately dramatize the scene. The first piece is God of the Uncivil where my friend Ben Swihart is being swarmed by CPD for “obstructing traffic.” The next piece, God of the Exposed, depicts a police officer putting his knee into 15-year-old Dajerria Becton’s back. Her crime was that her skin color did not correspond to the neighborhood she was in. Lastly, God of the Tortured, shows an unknown man being tortured at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison where U.S. soldiers made sport of “prisoners of war.”
1. The artist who gave me the idea to do this was Daniel Bonnell (see Rejected).