A Mexican artist has caused a stir by producing a series of Baby Jesus figures that are made to resemble loved characters and celebrities such as Superman, Joker and Freddie Mercury.
However, artist Ricardo Bahena’s online series has been criticised by many netizens as offensive.
On 2nd February, Mexico celebrates Dia de la Candelaria, known in English as Candlemas or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ.
It is tradition for Mexican devotees to dress Baby Jesus figures as angels, saints and professional workers such as doctors and attend church services.
However, Bahena has produced Jesus dolls that resembled popular figures such as Freddie Mercury, David Bowie, Joker, Superman and even Lion-O from ‘ThunderCats’.
Available to buy online, the Baby Jesus figures are priced between 450 and 650 MXN (18 and 26 GBP), according to reports.
The price difference relates to the detail and time needed to produce the celebrity, and the most expensive doll is Joker while the cheapest is Goku from ‘Dragon Ball’.
However, not everyone saw the light side of making celebrity Jesus figures and selling them on the internet.
Netizen ‘Elvira Mendoza’ commented: “So stupid and such a lack of respect.”
However, Bahena explained to Central European News (CEN): “I first came up with the idea two years ago, but got round to starting it now. I noticed many people dressing Baby Jesus as professionals and mariachi singers, etc, and I decided to do something similar in my own way.
“A lot of people have criticised me because it is a big leap from the traditional ideas. Devotees were particularly bothered, for them it is not normal at all.
“What I did was like a remix to an old hit. I am adapting and giving a new spirit to an old tradition by using pop culture with Mexican heritage.”
In November 2019, a Mexican church made the international headlines when it unveiled a huge Baby Jesus statue that resembled 80s pop icon Phil Collins.
The huge statue was erected in the La Epifania del Senor church in the neighbourhood of Zoquite in Guadalupe in the state of Zacatecas in central Mexico and reportedly measured 6.58 metres (21.6 feet) tall, weighing in at almost a tonne.
However on this occasion the resemblance was apparently accidental, and there were no complaints, unlike the work of Ricardo where the resemblance was deliberate.
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