Student Responds To Accusations That His Art Pieces Are Supposedly Satanic. The Grantleigh school student replied by saying that he has replied to the statement because of its controversy.
The student who was accused of showcasing satanic art pieces has responded to the outcry from one of the parents. The video of the parent was shared on the internet. The Grantleigh school student replied by saying that he has replied to the statement because of its controversy. The student went on to state the concepts behind his artwork.
The student stated that one of the ideas behind the painting was to look at the exploitation that others do to other people in the name of church. “The artworks in this exhibition explore the commercialization of contemporary organized religion as well as the monetary exploitation of the faithfulby the greedy individuals who hide behind the disguise of a church or similar pious institution. They discuss (through appropriation of religious imagery) how contemporary religion has become superficial.” The student went on to state that the idea looks at how some people consume religion the same way they would with any other product, hence the Ronald McDonald was used.
“Instead of connecting with one’s faith on a deep, seemingly meaningful level and actually having the guts to ask metaphysical questions, many simply consume their religion in the same fashion as they would any other product (hence the use of Ronald McDonald as a symbol for the infection of faith with consumer culture) an it is because of this that they become vulnerable to manipulation at the hands of those who use their office as a religious leader to further their own lives instead of bringing about positive changes in the world. Ronald McDonald does not act as a defamation of anyone’s personal messiah, instead he acts as a symbol of abuse and misuse thereof.”
“I do not care what people believe, I simply want to highlight potential risks in how they believe it. For in a society dominated by an idea-driven culture, the contents of your mind are perhaps the most important and exploitable.” The student went on to explain some of his other artwork. “In a country (and indeed larger world) that is stricken with poverty and glaring inequalities, who can take those religious leaders who rake in millions of rands of income on a regular basis seriously? Who can honestly say that it is right for certain religious leaders to have gotten away with robbing those who trust them most and not repaying society?”
“Televangelism, church-sponsored merchandise and even charging a fee for attendance are all minor examples of the ways in which one contributes to the modern-day business of religion. My drawings take the compositions of classical, religious paintings and insert symbols of capitalism therein so as to communicate this sentiment. “The Creation of Aam”, “Alba Madonna”, “The Last Supper”, “The Dead Christ Mourned (‘The Three Maries’” and “The Last Judgement” are all examples of compositions that I have appropriated. However unsettling the imagery may seem, it is designed to provoke thought – to make the viewer question whether they are subject to merciless exploitation or are truly cognizant of what and how they believe.”
“All other sentiments expressed in the exhibition stem from this one. Questions of rationality and irrationality, good and evil as well as an introspective reflection on my own metaphysical beliefs are all discussions pursued in my art and are sadly things forgotten and ignored by those too scared by the honesty and power of artistic expression to see my work for what it is – a dissection of contemporary faith.” The student adds that the art doesn’t come from a place of malice. He adds that the art doesn’t mirror the perspectives of the school.
by Alexandra Ramaite