Artist Doug Blanchard's series of 24 paintings depicting Jesus as a contemporary gay man in a modern city add a realistic backdrop to the emotional drama of the story. His work reimagines the dramatic events of Palm Sunday, the Last Supper, and Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection.
These portraits still strike a nerve. An ad for the series was recently banned from Facebook, which initially classified it as an "adult product" that sought to "promote pornography." Ultimately, Facebook approved the ad after an appeal was submitted. In correspondence with The Advocate, a Facebook representative made note of the ad's final approval, without offering a reason for its initial rejection. LGBT Facebook users, such as photographer Michael Stokes, have repeatedly complained of their photos and other work being banned without explanation, with the most visible cases usually winning on appeal.
The recently released book The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision includes Blanchard's paintings and text by Kittredge Cherry of JesusInLove.blogspot.com. You can also learn more about the author and the painter there as well as find information on purchasing prints and other products.