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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

THE GODMAKERS




In this recent anthology of works entitled The Godmakers, JCrisanto Martinez reveals the grim face of human worship. With a set of highly detailed sculptures, he shows us the archetypes of "God" as conceived by man. Martinez exhibits an iconography all presented in an emblematic comportment, though despite its certainty of form, is evidently anthropomorphic. The figures are also enthroned in separate niches/kingdoms, and what binds them together are their crowned heads. At some perspective the figures in the sculptures appear to be mythological.

The major perspective of these recent artworks is the concept of demigods; human by flesh, treated and given the attributes of god. The demigod, as inevitably prone to the clasps of human worship and divination, is often dignified beyond mortal means. “We crown them, we worship them, we listen intently when they speak and we play servants to their beck and call,” the artist explains. With the church’s universal central dogma on the foreground that concentrates on preaching the evasion of the carnal transgressions; flesh-based iniquities which ironically are those that we paradoxically consider (or presume to consider) as what make us human. Contradictory then is the fact that there constantly and consistently parade in our midst the “deities” we covertly idolize the most. It indeed emphasizes the matter-of-fact that we worship the gods we crafted and pay reverence because of our own personal clandestine desires and urges.

By practice a multitude of the human race pays worship for images of those who they engage in prayers and acts of devotion. There is a representation of someone revered for chivalry, for the true, the good and the beautiful, and the like. Why is there not a representation of a persona which in reality and beyond hypocrisy people really patronize the most in their everyday grind? Perhaps an image that man idolizes and worship for his carnal cravings? Such raison d'être then becomes the central declaration in Martinez's artworks. These eidolons correspond to the ‘ramp’ models of society, the social chimeras that we adore much and exalt to a degree that is even beyond gods. We want them. We want to be them. These are the man-manufactured Gods complete with fake crowns and apocryphal kingdoms in which they habituate and rule. These faith-induced monsters, who suck everything that we are or what we own, like black, fat leeches with gilded crowns on their cranium, draining blood, dreams, and even freedom itself.

But then again, we are not in the position to blame because they did not create themselves. They did not install those golden tiaras on their heads. They never called themselves God.

Oh but we did. And continue to do so.


Image: JCrisanto Martinez, “Face of a Saint, Hands of a Sinner,” Mixed media on old wood, 2010
Text: Dave Lock and JCrisanto Martinez “OF GODS AND GODMAKERS”

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