Passion Play

Cross in the back of a pick up at the Hungerford Building in Rochester, NY
Cross in the back of a pick up at the Hungerford Building in Rochester, NY

I was talking to Tom Lacagnina at the last RoCo opening about a mutual friend who had passed out at a dinner party. Tom said he remembered passing out at Church and I do too. I remember the sinking sensation as my knees buckled and all that Catholic imagery began to swirl. It seemed someone in our family was always passing out during Mass. It was often hot and the clothes we had to wear were stuffy but that wasn’t the reason. We used to have to fast for three hours before receiving Communion. As kids we were up running around the house for hours before my parents rounded us up for Mass. We were starved by the time the service began. And a dry wafer stuck to the roof of your mouth did not exactly hit the spot. Sacrifice is a big part of the Catholic experience.

My favorite part of Catholic Churches has always been the Stations of the Cross. They are usually different in each Church and offer more to contemplate than a single statue. The fourteen stations are spread around the church and tell the story of Christ’s crucifixion. In older churches they are usually presented in a in a traditional fashion but in contemorary churches they are often minimal and symbolic. The greatest story ever told is is fertile ground for artists.

The owner of this pickup truck is ready for a real sacrifice. You just never know when you might come across a Christlike figure. I was not surprised to see this cross parked near the corner of Main and Goodman. I picked East Main Street years ago as the setting for a modern day crucifixion. In 1993 I began collecting source material for a series of paintings that I planned to do of this story. I photographed locations for a contemporary setting that would have Christ sentenced near our home at East High and crucified at the Liberty Pole. This truck is on that route, just across the street from the adult book store.

I still haven’t done the paintings but I did make large prints of the source material and displayed them at the Bug Jar for a month. I entered them in the Finger Lakes Show in 1999 and won a few awards with the “Passion Play” piece. I will do those paintings some day.


3 Replies to “Passion Play”

  1. hey paul,
    i know the owner of that truck, dave king, who likes to go by “king”.
    he carves those crosses with an axe, and is a real interesting character in the deep sense of the word. one story is of how he went thru college with a extreme dislecsic (i’m a non- speller), problem. an how he was guided to read the bible to remedy that, and claims to know the whole king james bible by memory now.

  2. This reminds me of the tow truck picture I sent out on the daily photo thing years ago.

  3. Stations of the Cross? Don’t know – but wasn’t there some bullshit about a certain Catholic rite that if you did it – you got an e-ticket to heaven? (No Waiting – like Disneyland).

    Love the cross in a pickup truck. Who knew Jesus could drive?

    Also I love those classified ads to: “Blessed Immaculate Mother of Holy Womb Fruit and Perpetual Motion” (or something like that) “Say 50 times – never known to fail.” It didn’t work for me. First of all, I don’t think the BVM even reads City newspaper and second, I wished for $1-million dollars and free drugs. STILL WAITING HERE!

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