Cuban Artist, Erik Ravelo, Causes Controversy Over Art Exposing Ped. in the Vatican

My heart aches … I cannot believe, what I read here, I deny to believe it, but…there are Facts… Artist Erik Ravelo, created a hilarious art-Expression – overwhelming ….

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Cuban Artist Causes Controversy Over Art Exposing Pederasty/Pedophilia in the Vatican

4:03 PM 666 – USA
Artist Erik Ravelo: Project “Intocables” Image (there are six photographs) Credit: https://www.facebook.com/WOMENSRIGHTSNEWS Created by: Erik Ravelo

Cuban artist Erik Ravelo’s photo project “Los Intocables”, depicting violence against children in various contexts,including the Catholic Church, is raising a storm. The paedophilia scandal continues to haunt the Catholic Church, this time through the realm of art – though some may disagree about how appropriate the use of the term “art” is in the case of Cuban artist Erik Ravelo’s project “Los Intocables” (The Untouchables).

Ravelo recently published a controversial photo collection, featuring images of children “crucified” to the backs of a number of symbolic figures representing different contexts in which violence is notoriously inflicted on children. “The images refer to paedophilia in the Vatican, child sex tourism in Thailand, the war in Syria, the trafficking of black market organs “donated” by children in the third world and obesity,” Australian website news.con.aureports. “Erik Ravelo took a series of photos of children hung like Jesus from a cross, but in the place of the cross were soldiers, surgeons, priests and Ronald McDonald,” the website explains.
The image which points the finger at the Catholic Church, depicts a young boy in nothing but his underwear, pinned to the back of a Catholic cardinal. It is a painful reminder of the sex abuse scandal that has plagued the Catholic Church in recent years.
Ravelo said he took the photos to make a point about the state of childhood in the world, though numerous complaints have been made about the degree of nudity in the pictures. Ravelo has continued to publish the photos despite Facebook having removed them and shut down his account, news.con.au reports.
Many comments on the artist’s Facebook page (most of them in Spanish) seem to show a positive reaction to Ravelo’s interpretation of the crude reality of sex abuse against children.
In a statement to Argentinian newspaper Clarín, Ravelo said: “What a coincidence that they should only remove the photo of the cardinal. I think many people get irritated when someone tells it like it is and now they are annoyed at the fact my art is so frank,” Ravelo told Clarín.
According to the website, Ravelo, a Christian, said the religious icon of Jesus on the Cross does not belong to any one person or group.
“The religious icon is not someone’s else religious icon. It’s my icon too, it’s my culture, it’s my education, it’s the way I was taught to communicate. So, in any case I’m talking about me too,” the artist apparently said.
I add a strong blog-article here, I reblogged from:

“This morning I came across the poignant image that is depicted above, entitled “The Untouchables.” It was created by photographer and artist Erik Ravelo, and it has people talking. Most are concerned with the image as a whole, claiming it is too disturbing for their eyes. Some are upset about particular parts of the image, especially numbers five and six. Some believe the image is incomplete, claiming there should be an image for abortion.

Regardless of these critiques, I find the piece extremely powerful and artful. Oftentimes we forget or fail to recognize child victims, whether they fall through the cracks of silence or are hidden by society or their offenders. Whether one agrees with the messages conveyed in this image, it is undeniably shocking. I certainly had my own thoughts on the image:

The first image depicts a man of a religious order turning his back on a barely clothed child – a victim of pedophilia. Many were quick to argue that not all or even most holy men are pedophiles, and that childhood sexual abuse is not limited to the Catholic Church. This is true by volumes. However, the image (in fact all of the images) does not only depict the relationship between the victim and offender, but also between the victim and those who have turned their backs on them; it is a message of neglect; a message of intentionally turning a blind eye.

The second image speaks to underage child trafficking and sexual abuse for profit. While the image is portrayed in an international context, it is important to remember that sex trafficking occurs in our own country, and is not only exploited by tourists. One could declare through critical inspection that the person turning his or her back to this child should be the person who recruited the child into trafficking. One may also accurately decide that the tourist may not be the one abusing the child, but the one ignoring the abuse on his travels.

The third image depicts the killing of children through war, and is contextualized through the ongoing Syrian war. Children are often forgotten victims of war, whether they are child soldiers, murdered, or rape victims. Recently, images have been leaked alleging a handful of American soldiers gang-raping a fifteen year old girl in the Middle East, who was later burned to death. It is important to remember that in war children are killed by their own and by those occupying their land.

The fourth image introduced a form of victimization to me. The artist explains that children in third world countries are the most exploited for human organ trafficking. Selling body parts for profit is a long practiced trade, especially when religion or law bans the examination of a corpse.  Historically, some exhumed bodies and some went as far as murder to obtain them. Again, does this image depict the doctor profiting from the child’s organs, or the one who knows about it and remains silent?

The fifth image has caused the most uproar. Gun ownership is a highly contested aspect of American culture. Many see a gun as a defense weapon or a protective measure, some just want one because it’s “cool,” some hunt, and some use them to wreak havoc. Most have argued that the picture is inflammatory and overgeneralizes weapon ownership in America to those who murder; however, it would be offensive to ignore the lives – particularly the lives of children – that have been taken at the hand of someone with a gun.

The sixth and final image has generated some argument as well. The image shows an overweight child who has fallen victim to the marketing and operative schemes of the fast food industry. Many have claimed that when a child is overweight it is the parent’s or parents’ fault. In my opinion, far too many people ignore the fact that parents are not the only ones raising their children. I think the image deserves its place in this overall depiction of childhood victimization.

The image entitled “The Untouchables” has many strengths and some weaknesses. Its primary strength is its global nature and ability to portray childhood victimization in an international context. The diversity of victimization experiences is also a positive attribute. When we broaden the offenders to include not only those directly harming the children, but also to those who have turned their backs on their abuse, the image creates an even greater message.

Unfortunately, the image has some elements that may alienate some of its viewers. Many have been quick to claim blasphemy as the children are depicted in a position of crucifixion, similar to depictions of Jesus in his final human hours. Some critics have argued that some of the images do not belong, and that some images are lacking. While this is true, this is art. The image is one artist’s depiction of childhood victimization, and overall I believe he achieves his goal.



One response

  1. Pingback: Not so Happy Meal.. | kaylaforsyth

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