It’s going to be tough to have this discussion without potentially offending someone, but oh well, the giant chocolate Jesus is back and I’m psyched!  For those of you who may have missed it, last spring artist Cosimo Cavallaro created an anatomically accurate statue of Jesus out of 200 pounds of chocolate.  The piece, titled “My Sweet Lord”, was going to be displayed on the ground floor of The Roger Smith Hotel in midtown New York City starting April 1 (Palm Sunday) and run through Easter Sunday.
 
That poor hotel.  They had protests, boycotts, petitions, and even death threats.  Why?  Was it because it was made out of a rich, dark, chocolate instead of white chocolate?  (I always chuckle when I think of this option.  Have you ever watched the animated series “The Boondocks”?  In the first episode Huey explains that he never saw “Passion of the Christ” because it had a white Jesus.  The black verses white Jesus debate is also brought up in the beginning of the awesome movie “Saved”.)  Did it have to do with Jesus’ exposed Hostess Ho Ho (if you get my meaning)?  Was it the invitation for spectators to eat a piece of the sculpture, which was a truly inspired way for the viewer to allow Jesus to become a part of them?  Was it the Palm Sunday opening, an appropriate time to encourage people to consider the life of Jesus?  The world will never truly know if it was one of those things or many, since in the world of religious over sensitives no real reason needs to be given to justify death threats on poor bell hops who don’t give two craps about a giant hunk of chocolate.  Don’t even get me started on the ramifications of threatening artists over their subject matter!  It makes my First Amendment emergency lights start flashing.
 
All of that is in the past because chocolate Jesus is back, and he’s brought some saints with him!  The Proposition Gallery will be featuring an exhibition of Cavallaro’s work called “Chocolate Saints…Sweet Jesus”.  All the biggest and brightest of the Catholic world will be there in their finest life-like chocolate rendering; Saint Francis, Saint Jude, the Virgin Mary, and more.  And of course, “My Sweet Lord”, a recasting of the giant chocolate Jesus that caused so much trouble, despite being beautifully crafted and totally delicious in appearance!
 
The exhibition will run from October 27 to November 24, 2007 (to coincide with All Saints Day).  Hey, it opens this Friday!  Where is all the drama?  Well, all of us chocolate Jesus fans can relax.  On October 16 The Catholic League, the fun loving bunch that brought you chocolate Jesus protests and editing Kathy Griffin, issued the most subtle and not so subtle statement saying that essentially, The Proposition gallery isn’t very visible, that the idea of crafting an image of Jesus is appropriate for Halloween, and that All Saint’s Day just isn’t as important to them as Palm Sunday.  Of course maybe that’s just my sarcastic and biased interpretation.  What do you think?
 
“’My Sweet Jesus,’ another life-sized chocolate sculpture of a naked crucified Jesus by artist Cosimo Cavallaro, will be displayed in a New York gallery on West 22nd Street from October 27 through November 24. Unlike last spring, when we launched a boycott against Manhattan’s posh Roger Smith Hotel (the boycott was dropped when the hotel cancelled the exhibition of an identical Cavallaro statue, “My Sweet Lord”), the Catholic League will not protest this showing.
 
When the Roger Smith Hotel originally planned to host ‘My Sweet Lord,’ the work was set to be unveiled on April 1, Palm Sunday, and run through Easter Sunday. In addition, the midtown hotel’s gallery is located on street level, easily visible through windows to the public. Any child strolling with his parents through the popular area could have been subjected to the piece. And comments by the artist certainly didn’t help matters—he previously invited the public to come inside and take a bite of Jesus.
 
Since ‘My Sweet Jesus’ isn’t going to be displayed on the ground floor of an established hotel in midtown, and since Halloween is more appropriate for Cavallaro’s crafts than Easter, our central objections are not applicable this time around. The Catholic League doesn’t approve of the piece, but this upcoming display won’t be as public, nor will it be an ostentatious assault on Christian sensibilities during Holy Week.”
 
Although, none of this matters.  Not the Catholic League, not my snarky comments about the Catholic League.  What matters is that although struck down by nonbelievers, “My Sweet Jesus” is back…and more chocolately than ever.






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