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Cheesecake Theology was the body of work I did for my BA thesis at OCAD University in 2007. The inspiration for my thesis comes from my own love affair with mythology and fantasy, as well as a fascination for psychology. It is this interest in and constant exploration of these two topics that have led to the realization that they are very much intertwined.
For this body of work, I have examined the way art has long been used as an effective tool for education, persuasion, promotion, and propaganda. This can be seen in the theatrical works of art commissioned by The Church with the purpose of drawing in the masses and appealing to the illiterate. In this modern era, the universal language of art is largely utilized by the media, although these days the predominant theme within the images is usually "sex sells."
This evolution of art persuasion has led me to wonder how the constant campaign for religion could be combined with our modern preoccupation with sexuality. If religions gave in to the theme of "sex sells" to try to lure in new practitioners, what would this look like? If female religious characters of various observances could be acceptably seen as sexy, fun, or downright dangerous, could their corresponding faith reach out to a broader audience?
To convey this idea, I've combined several female characters from various religions with the imagery of classic 30's-50's pin up art. The sensual and divine figures are subject to the same admiration or criticism that a regular pin up would receive. When one looks at the paintings, they are asked to question what they know about worship, female roles in religion, as well as who holds the power; the voyeur or the viewed.
Men and women alike have long worshiped and tacked up sexualized imagery in their work and living spaces much in the same way religious people worship statues and framed pictures of their Gods in their homes. What does this say about the human mind? What does it say about our views toward the opposite sex, separately and in correlation with our religion?