What do Jesus and Harvey the Rabbit have in common?
(A) They are imaginary friends.
(B) They are good drinking buddies.
(C) An extremely close relationship with either one makes some people think you're a candidate for the looney bin.
(D) Each one looks exactly like you want him to look.
Beats me whether the first three are correct, but there's no denying that the giant rabbit and Mr. Popularity resemble whatever their believers want them to resemble. This realization came to light around Easter, a time when Jesus generally occupies more magazine covers than Jennifer Aniston. This year the BBC aired a special called "Jesus: The Complete Story," which presumed to show us what the face of Jesus probably really looked like, as opposed to the Matthew-McConaughey-at-Sears-Portrait-Studio picture that hangs near the wall clock in every Catholic school classroom in the country. Jesus, the story said, probably had shorter hair, was darker and had bigger features than his more familiar European image, which is something that was handed off to us by European artists.
Another special, this one on PBS, discussed "The Face: Jesus in Art," which showed how Jesus is depicted around the world. The African-American Jesus is portrayed with dreadlocks, while the Japanese version is Asian, beardless and has a classic Japanese art haircut that's kinda punk.
The manipulation of hair and face reminded us of that beloved childhood gameboard "Woolie Willie," which had a picture of a face encased with a bunch of metal shavings and a magnet to maneuver them around with. You could give Willie hair, a beard, no beard, no hair, a hat, rabbi curls, whatever you wanted. We figured that since Jesus is the half-man, half-God of the people, we'd play Woolie Willie with these new features and see if we could come up with a few more Jesuses (Jesi?) to suit a few more niche groups. If the BBC can do it, so can we.
Plus, how cool is it to give a deity, like, a total makeover?
To look at the Jesus faces we created, click here.
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