The Christ of Reconciliation
44 x 21 x 33 in.
When I first saw a Spanish Colonial artifact of Christ depicted with the Sacred Heart, it immediately conjured parallels to Aztec human sacrifice.
This icon is a tool used to explain a synthesis of divine concepts in visual terms; Christ is a man, yet omnipresent, sacrificing Himself for the sake of the viewer standing before Him. Christ is holding an obsidian knife, traditionally used by Aztec priests to cut the hearts out of sacrificial victims. The wound creates a window into the cosmos created within Him. This space pierced by light simultaneously represents the fundamental significance of the Messiah’s resurrection in Christianity and the cyclical rebirth of the universe in Aztec cosmology. The wounds of the crucifixion are present upon Christ’s body as he performs this action to reconcile the foreign idea of Himself within a new cultural context.
Had a communion between these two cultures, resulting in icons like this, been allowed by the workshops producing religious art in Colonial Mesoamerica, it might have converted the aboriginal leap to faith into a leap of faith.
In the Christ of Reconciliation, one can see the icon of the Sacred Heart split into its two primal counterparts to reborn in a new symbol made flesh.(Edited by David Spolum)