Sculpture: Chocolate Jesus

From the BBC, “Catholic League head Bill Donahue called it ‘one of the worst assaults on Christian sensibilities ever.'”

“It” in this instance is a six foot tall sculpture of Jesus crafted in milk chocolate. Artist Cosimo Cavallaro‘s chocolate Jesus will be displayed in Manhattan’s Lab Gallery. The work represents a nude Christ hanging on the cross.

In the L.A. Times Donahue elaborates on his sentiment of disgust, “It’s not just the ugliness of the portrayal but the timing. To choose Holy Week is astounding.” But, who has ever seen a pretty crucifixion? The gallery’s creative director told the Times the timing was coincidental.

What’s the big deal? The gallery is apparently getting all kinds of angry e-mail and phone calls and is “considering its options,” surprised (rightly so) at people’s offense. Cavallaro is known for using food as a medium, and isn’t this better than urine and feces? The best response for Christians to take, as was suggested following the aforementioned feces incident in Brooklyn, is to focus on things they like. Talk about Makoto Fujimura’s amazing paintings etc etc. The negativity is not constructive.

And for us chocolate lovers of the Christian faith this may as well be a compliment!

More on the sweet sculpture from Hot Air.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

7 Responses to Sculpture: Chocolate Jesus

  1. Sheila West says:

    A lot of people complain that peddling chocolate bunnies undermines the true focus of Easter: Jesus. So … I guess making a chocolate Jesus is one solution. Right?? No???? (Okay, I’ll shut up now.)

  2. TAE says:

    Ha!, very interesting angle which I’d not thought of. I suppose some do lament the commercialization of Easter, just as I have done of Christmas. Though Easter — for some reason or another — is less of a holiday for Christians here in America. At least that’s how it seems to me. Is it because it isn’t as commercialized, or commercializeable, as Christmas?

  3. I can see taking communion becoming a lot more popular if we start using chocolate, too. Bread and Wine (or grape juice) is good stuff, but chocolate is yummy stuff.

    On the other hand, I’d much rather bite the head off a bunny than… I guess wanting to bite the head off of anything is kinda morbid.

    So was it solid or hollow? Was it gonna be eaten after the exhibition? I don’t think people should create art out of food (or the byproducts from digestion for that matter) when there are so may starving people in the world, and it would be a shame to see so much chocolate going to waste instead of to waists. 🙂

  4. OK – I spoke (On A&F) before I really *looked* at Cavallaro’s piece, and have had a complete change of heart on this. Time to eat humble pie! (Or maybe my hat?!)

    Paul, I think you were right all along.

    Yours in chagrin,

  5. Tim J. says:

    As a Catholic, I don’t see that Bill Donahue has done us any great favors, but his reaction was part of the calculus of the piece. He is the Jerry Falwell of the Catholic world… a performing chimp for the secular press, someone they can safely loathe and who can be counted on to put his foot in his mouth on occasion. They can easily convince themselves that ALL Christians are like that and feel pretty assured of their own superiority.

    The cynic in me can’t help but think that the sculpture accomplishes its goal… the creation of publicity via controversy. *yawn*…

    The title also seems like a joke, a pun as flippant and empty as the work itself.

    As a friend of mine has said over and over, it is only because of the common knowledge that the Pope does NOT issue fatwas that arteests such as this repeatedly muster the “courage” to poke Catholics in the eye. Let them try this with a life sized sculpture of Mohammed, if they have the stones for it. Let them “explore those themes”.

  6. jake says:

    what is the difference between chocolate and say plaster, or wood?
    is he critical of the fact that their is an image, or that it is chocolate?
    are we objecting to seeing jesus penis? we know he had one, as he was fully man. we are ok with seeing thousands of images of him being flogged and beaten and bleeding and stabbed and mocked, but are outraged at a little penis.
    come on

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