So people are responding to my “pearaphim” painting. And most of them like it. It’s always a crapshoot with semi-religious themes, but the whimsical ones generally get positive responses. No one has yet told me that I will burn in hell for the pears. People read a little much into the cardinals, but just as many people get them for religious relatives. Everybody was pretty laid back about the Madonna and Egg.
The pear, however, has kicked up one rather unusual set of responses–a few people have said “Uh, there’s almost certainly no way you could know this, but there’s this classic Mormon painting of Joseph Smith being visited by angels…” Somebody provided a link. While compositionally different, it’s at least on the same theme of glowing being and shocked mortal fallen backwards. Just, err…people shaped, not pears. Nobody’d think it was plagerism, but a few of ’em thought, perhaps, that it might be a commentary on Mormonism.
Insomuch as I was thinking anything, I was thinking of that vast array of saint icons and representations of the Annuciation of the Virgin, but I can at least see how they got there from the paintings. Unintended consequences, ahoy. They’ve all been very polite about it, so it’s not an offensive thing, more of a chuckle–it’s never the people you think might be offended, it’s always some weird left-field thing you never saw coming.
My own opinion of Mormonism was largely formed by a Mormon best friend in middle school, who took me to church with her one day, and there was this Sunday school class, and I vowed to be on my best and most polite behavior. And then they started talking about archaeology that proved Mormonism, and proof of Jesus in the new world, and I’m afraid a red haze passed over my vision and I have no further memory of that hour, except for some part where the teacher and I were yelling at each other about Quetzalcoatl (poor woman, I think she was a student teacher who had previously believed she liked children, and in retrospect, I can say she probably didn’t deserve that.) I was not invited back. (My friend thought it was funny as hell, so I suppose it worked out.) So it became cemented in my mind as “Nice people. Believe a lot of really stupid crap, though.” But for me, compared to what I’ve been known to say about other branches of Christianity, that’s practically a ringing endorsement. I am suspicious of any group that doesn’t drink coffee, but then again, I feel that way about people who drink soy milk, so that probably doesn’t count.
Besides, if I was going to mock Joseph Smith, it would have been angelic macaroni.