48 thoughts on “Religiosity of Capitalism”

  1. Religiosity of Capitalism? Hmmm, not a cleric or a dollar sign in sight. No televangelists either. I’m missing something here…Are the guys floating in the air supposed to be angels? The guy on the bed is…? The kid represents what? Innocense? Victimhood?

    1. As to religiosity, this picture definitely reminds me of the story of the sacrifice of Isaac, with these people descending from the sky to intervene in a scene of violence between a man and a boy.

      For example, compare with this painting by Caravaggio: http://beckydaroff.com/stories/details.php?recordID=2
      and this one by Rembrandt: http://beckydaroff.com/stories/details.php?recordID=72

      (And while we’re at it, this piece by Britten is worth listening to:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBOhLhioYiM

  2. His technique seems to be to capture very contemporary/profane subjects and scenes in a style reminiscent of renaissance religious or spiritual paintings. If you look at his other works on his website, you’ll see many that have a similarly iconic feel, sometimes with similarly abstract titles like “The Entropic Principle.” I’m not going to attempt to interpret this one, but it’s clearly meant to be understood on some kind of symbolic or archetypal level.

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t like his work very much.

  3. Well, to me it seems to make some suggestions about the way that impressionable youth is assailed by a constant barrage of what they must wear and dress like in order to appear sexy, cool, and up-to-the-minute.

    So, where boys and girls of a certain age might once have dreamed about angels and saints (especially if they were Roman Catholic) they now dream about Rolex, GAP, how to have their hair cut etc etc. The boy is abandoning his understanding of decency as defined by Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore, in exchange for what advertisers want him to believe is beautiful and attractive.

    Thus, Capitalism is the new religion. Although, actually, I think the picture would have to be named “The Religiosity of Consumerism” if I what I have just written was a completely accurate grasp on what the artist is trying to tell me. ;)

  4. Mmm, dunno what’s that supposed to mean either, but the only way to get at least something something right may be to rename the title as “Two Toon Toms peeping”…
    Horselips, they are floating in the air but not angels, just your usual online electricity particles of predators. That’s episode 2 of the German teen education campaign against the dangers of technology and progress! Most adults do not understand their teenagers, so I guess it could also be titled “Alien vs Predators”. ;-)

  5. [Grrr... I'm getting a 'duplicate comment' message, but I can't see my comment at all.]

    As to religiosity, this picture definitely reminds me of the story of the sacrifice of Isaac, with these people descending from the sky to intervene in a scene of violence between a man and a boy.

    For example, compare with this painting by Caravaggio: http://beckydaroff.com/stories/details.php?recordID=2
    and this one by Rembrandt: http://beckydaroff.com/stories/details.php?recordID=72

    (And while we’re at it, this piece by Britten is worth listening to:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zKV_pca-0w, and another version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBOhLhioYiM)

  6. Rape ! – Horrible forcefull attack! – And the innocent winny the pooh in the background.

    Looks like inter-family child-molestation. Stuff for nightmarers i’m sure. =-(

  7. Then again, perhaps the artist painted it to SELL.

    I’ve been to many shows, openings, exhibits, and have heard many (many!) patrons “explain” an artist’s own art to him.

    Their most common response?

    Something along the lines of “I’ve never heard such bullshit in my life!”

    (Not referring to anything on this thread, of course.)

  8. It certainly makes you think of all kinds of nasty outcomes. My ex-brother-in-law was a child molester, so it’s a bit close to home.

  9. i think boy represents good loks wini the poo inocence or maybe they both do wheras the angels are a mixture they represent to me they want the boy sexualy but in varying degreas 1 at any cost 1 will wait 1 willblol wait longer and more has love than sex on his mind lo, but maybe im just stupid

  10. I think the religiosity of capitalism/consumerism is “sex sells”. So you have an adult generation obsessed about the supposed sexual innocence of their children (represented by the Winnie the Pooh poster) and fearful of their being corrupted by supposedly modern media images of sexuality that might tempt kids before they are married. Hence, the boy is being pulled against his will (notice his clenched right hand holding tight to the sheet) by the three adults (two undressed and the other working at the fly of his shorts) who are pulling him into their “dark” sexuality. That is the message pedaled by those who would see children as innocent cherubim until the day they are married, when as everyone knows kids discover and experiment with their sexuality at a very young age and are made to feel ashamed by the messages they hear from the adults around them.

  11. Yes, I find this one disturbing too; it evokes molestation and having been molested, it causes a sick feeling. I guess in the end, it evokes the fact that youth and beauty are “sold” and it cries out for deliverance. This does echo Caravaggio so the flying figures do seem to be angelic. I don’t know, but even in the gay community, the essence of being gay is “sold” to levels of depravity that rapes the beauty of what it means to be gay. Lol, did that make sense?

  12. I reminds me of my (long gone) youth. A thousand outside forces pulling at you – each with their own opinion of right or wrong. The assault of society/peers on youth – well meaning but often misplaced. It’s a sad but true interpretation of growing up.

    1. that’s a bit of an overreaction, imo. the world is filled with good and bad. this artist (and many others) is (are) capturing a moment that not everyone is proud of.

      the work is definitely thought/conversation provoking, which, isnt neccesarely a bad thing :p

      exquisite attention to detail.

  13. Has no1 noticed that the white haired “person” is female? Anf it is also possible that the central male could be reaching to remove a belt, but we can’t see the buckle, to punish the “boy” for some wrong doing. Not every picture of a man and boy needs to be sexualised. Some people need to think with their brain and not their peni.

    1. Perhaps, but if it is evocative of Caravaggio, the “angelic” figures would be effeminate. And you are correct about the assumption, but then I cannot for the life of me understand the title. Is it just violence or discipline? I guess I made the leap considering this was on a gay site, so I was not thinking with my penis. I went and looked at some of the other paintings, and over all, there does not seem to be anything other than a juxtaposition of various images and concepts, regardless of reason. In the end, I cannot say I care for this artist’s work.

    2. Feminine, but not necessarily female. I think that’s why the back is towards the viewer, it makes it entirely up to the viewer to decide, beyond that it is completely enigmatic.

  14. You’ve got a bit of a wrong impression of the past, Jonty. The idea that children have no sexuality is brand new, emerging only in the mid-1990s. Any time before that, it was always assumed kids were curious about sex. Before the Victorian Era, almost all families (except the ultra rich) lived in common rooms. They slept, and fucked and masturbated, right next to their family. There was no mystery of sex, no ability for anyone to make anyone else ashamed of their sexuality by making them feel alone in being a sexual human being. Nude statues lined streets, nude paintings were everywhere, there were penis-shaped door-knockers and sex and the human form pervaded all design. It wasn’t until the Victorians showed up and threw everyone into private bedrooms and started railing on about denying the flesh that sex became in any way associated with a “loss of innocence”. At that point, most people started their families at 13 or 14 or so. Children were raised to be mature enough to handle this at that age. But, companies had a different idea. They needed more educated workers. They no longer had much need for an uneducated 13yo. They couldn’t provide him with a salary sufficient to raise a family. So the poor, for economic reasons primarily, invented the idea of “adolescence” and extended education and sought to suppress their sexuality. They had no reliable birth control at the time, so abstinence was really the only option. All of our sexual policies are outgrowths of that idea and refinements of it. The purpose behind it has been lost and only the mindless dogma remains. Now we have birth control, and we can see the tremendous psychological damage it does to human beings to be taught through childhood and adolescence that sexuality isn’t normal and good… but we’re still too attached to the dogma.

  15. I have a different take. I think the title reflects that capitalism has become our religion. The angelic type beings represent the lures of the greed associated with making capitalism our religion; and the dad is trying to pull his son forcefully from the temptation to succumb to a materialistic lifestyle :)

  16. Sorry, but this really leaves me cold. It seems every bit as exploitative as its (merely provocative and meaningless) title.

  17. This is a metaphorical work. It is about the hiatus between childhood symbolised by the Winnie the Pooh and Eeyore who glance knowingly at what is going on as if they too are in some way part of the conspiracy of adulthood. The assailants come from all angles even whilst this boy is asleep – it appears that he has been wrested from his slumber and perhaps this too is a metaphor for the naivety of youth, the moment of adolescence when he is accosted be desires which seem so out of place in a young boy’s bedroom. The intruders come from the ceiling, perhaps the place of dreams and they come from all angles. Unexpected. I don’t think this is a painting at all about rape, but it is an image about the abruptness inherent in growing up and the chasm between the childhood world and the sexual world. Of course there are many different dimensions to this and this is just one of them.

  18. What a lot of crap the kid is about to be raped by is dad ,is brother,or the boy next door , but he is going to be raped cant you see that ! the guy is reaching for is zipper for gods sake!

  19. It looks rather like the father is about to beat him, and these angels are intervening. I agree with the users who referred to the sacrifice of Isaac.
    Now, as for the father’s hand hovering over his groin, I’m inclined to think that he withdrew it in fright. Nothing about this suggests rape.
    And, really, I think the painting would be more meaningful if it depicted violence, rather than rape. Isn’t it something of a religious sacrifice when the boy is introduced to masculinity through this kind of violence?
    Well that’s my take on it.

    1. i originally thought the same thing, then i saw the man’s knee on the bed behind the boy. in my eye, it appears as more than just a beating. but that’s the beauty of art. interpretation.

  20. The two angels are David Bowie and Elvis Presley, for the general information of commenters. Don’t know if that will effect the interpretations.

  21. Come on guys, Rich is right. You can interpret it any way you want, but it is without doubt a rape attempt.
    I personnally despise this picture, and all the work on Verlato’s site for that matter, but I would not go as far as condemning it as child rape, because it is a painting and a piece of virtual art, not a photograph.

    The number and diversity of the reactions is great, one “vm” adored the picture so much he even decided to delete milkboys from his favorites, as I understand moving it to his home page instead… ;-)

    1. “vm” adored the picture so much he even decided to delete milkboys from his favorites, as I understand moving it to his home page instead… ;-)

      I lol’d, thanks Chimel ;)

      1. So you can read the posts! I was a bit concerned because when vm said he was delighted about your sight, I thought you went blind.
        Oh well, no more comment for me today, it’s past midnight this side of the Pacific.
        Ta!

  22. Well I don’t know much about art but what I think that the painting or drawing is showing a guy with a little kid and it looks like the guy is unzziping his pants of like may b to rape the kid, and I don’t think the guys floating on mid air are angels because they r creepy. For me I think they are demons controling the situation.Since it is a hopeless little kid they are just making Shure everithing is going there way….ps. Like I said I don’t know mich about art and I’m just to giving my point of view…john-pr

  23. Its so sad ……..like that happened me then I was blamed for what was done to me……….

  24. damn it is a child abuse! For those who wanted to know what this is!the most horrible thing a mankind can do!

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