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Breakdancing Jesus appears at Stokes Croft

2 August 2013

Breakdancing Jesus artwork wins competition

Exactly ten years ago, artist Cosmo Sarson was so struck by a photograph in a local newspaper that he cut it out and kept it. ‘It’s a picture of Pope John Paul II, seated in St Peter’s Basilica, in front of a man who is breakdancing. In fact, the man is spinning his head on the marble floor of the basilica.’ That photograph has inspired Cosmo’s latest major work: a huge street mural depicting a breakdancing Jesus. It is over 8 metres high, and directly faces one of street art’s greatest icons: Banksy’s ‘Mild Mild West’.

‘It took me four days, and a kilo of gold glitter, to paint it’, says Sarson. ‘My technique for starting the work was exactly that of another aspect of this mural that connects it to the Vatican. Michelangelo started his work in the Sistine Chapel by outlining his figures in charcoal, and that’s what I did here in Bristol.’

Sarson’s entry was the winner of a major competition. According to one of the judges, Sean Redmond, "The work raises questions about the role of organised religions in contemporary society and also about how Christ would interact and communicate with contemporary culture if he returned today." Jamie Pike, a co-director at local group The Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft, said of 'Breakdancing Jesus': 'It represents everything Bristol should be proud of. We have a proud history of religious tolerance, incredible cultural diversity and a vibrant creative history. "Breakdancing Jesus" is a celebration of that."

You won’t be taught breakdancing in Bristol’s Department of Religion and Theology, but you’ll have the opportunity to discuss issues regarding the acceptance and the rejection of religion in several of the units we offer!

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