His Holiness: A thought-provoking sculpture challenging perceptions of joy, spirituality, and consumerism.

Title: His Holiness
Medium: Sculpture
Material: eco-plastic, polyester, acrylic, Au 24 ct.
Size: 140/55,12 x 80/31,5 x 60/23,62 cm/in
Year: 2020
Collection: Turbofolk

Formal Aesthetics

The sculpture “His Holiness” presents a corpulent, exuberant figure positioned atop an artificial tiger fur-adorned pedestal, resting upon a foundation of simulated marble. The imitation tiger fur, emblematic of strength, courage, and heroism, challenges the conventional symbolism associated with these virtues. Simultaneously, the use of simulated marble questions established notions linked to refined taste, purity, and immortality. The figure’s spiritual inclination is articulated through Buddhist prayer beads and tattoos depicting Christ’s portrait and a peace dove. Yet, the juxtaposition of a beer bottle and money in each hand introduces a nuanced narrative, suggesting a pursuit of happiness through material means. Notably, gilded VR glasses crown the figure’s head, symbolizing a connection with personal reality and its intrinsic value.

Self-Centered Reality

While visually reminiscent of the Laughing Buddha, “His Holiness” diverges significantly in thematic content. The depicted figure derives happiness through engagement with the external world, crafting an image of a self-centered reality. This portrayal implies a comical character, humorously unaware of the repercussions of self-absorption, consequently forfeiting the capacity for self-reflection. Though concealed from the observer, the figure’s conceptualization of reality appears centered around personal satisfaction, creating an all-encompassing narrative of joy rooted in consumption.

Conceptual Significance

Within “His Holiness,” a reflection of reality emerges, embodying the personification of consumerism that not only influences outward appearance but also molds perspective. The concealed layers beneath the surface invite speculation, emphasizing that the true essence of depicted joy intertwines with the nature of consumption portrayed. This work beckons contemplation on the influence of material pursuits on individual contentment, challenging preconceived notions and encouraging a thoughtful exploration of the interplay between personal reality and external influences.

What does spirituality mean? What is real and what is an illusion? Mind or body? Pain or joy? Duality or unity? What if being spiritual means being fully in the world knowing we are not coming from it? What if we bear absolute responsibility for how we perceive everything we experience?