I had an entire long post ready to go but thanks to an app crash, I’ll give you the highlights.
I wasn’t going to share this painting. I didn’t think it worthy, but people started to like it, so, here we are.
There’s two themes going on here. First, there’s a piece of Papayrus at Harvard (this is not the Dan Brown / Da Vinci Code angle) that has a line where Jesus calls Mary Magdalene “my Wife”. Imagine that? Going from fallen prostitute to the equal (or better than, in the words of Paul) of Jesus. The documentary I watched “The Gospel of Mary“, started the ball rolling on this idea. I was originally going to paint just her.
As an aside, and from a historical perspective since I’m not religious (there’s a long story involving an ex-wife that caused me to be like the hit R.E.M song with God), I’m fascinated by what got in the Bible, what got left out (Gnosticism, Council of Nicea, etc.), and the power-plays that took place to put down Mary (labeling her a prostitute). So painting this had a lot to do with egalité, as the French would say.
Next I came across a Mark Twain quote that made me pause:
“But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?”
I thought, “who better to bring the word of God to the first and last sinner?” So I had Mary confronting the great vvrym and closing the loop on this Christianity thing – a denouement of sorts, but without the 80’s soundtrack.
The painting had a working title of “Prom Dress Mary and the Pompadour (fixed) Dragon“. That title should explain why I wasn’t going to post it at first. Anyway, here it is.