The Christ of Reconciliation

Above photo by Lawrence Irvine

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.

Later, I learned that the Sacred Heart was made an icon for specific veneration by the Catholic Church in the 17th century. This movement was led by missionaries to Mesoamerica who realized that the heart held a significance for the aboriginal people they were seeking to convert. The Sacred Heart icon became an image that was simultaneously revered by Spanish Catholics in Europe and Mesoamericans who saw in it a connection to sacrifices made to the Aztec god of resurrection, Quetzalcoatl.

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)


Anonymous said...

Alex, you are awesome and I love your work!
A.D. in Florida

Anonymous said...

alex, been a while man, but wanted to tell you how impressive this piece is. All your work has a fantastic figurative approach that truly brings a unique experience to your art. i look forward to seeing how you evolve as an artist - cheers guy, and good luck in your continued pursuits. - Leadlove.

Christin said...