M+FG's 'Last Supper' is Just Too Haute for the Vatican

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We felt pleasantly provoked by this ad for Marithe + Francois Girbaud, in which female models take up the mantles of Jesus and the Apostles for The Last Supper. There's also a man that we're guessing is supposed to be a Magdalene, or maybe a Judas, figure.

We love how the viewer is first slapped with recollection of the Da Vinci original, but beyond that the image merits a good long look. The facial expressions are wildly illustrative. And there don't appear to be chairs or table legs.

The image drew heat in Italy for disrespecting religious sensibilities and replacing sacred symbols with merch. We'd argue that appropriating a religious painting (which, come on, wasn't an accurate depiction anyway), then lacing it with a contemporary message, is a great way to put both the aesthetic and philosophical qualities of religion back on the discussion board.

Religious doctrine and art are ripe with symbols and rich stories, begging to be revived and reinterpreted. If advertising, as opposed to fresco, has to be our period eye, so be it.

What makes it less valid? Even the great painters were trying to get paid, and their sponsors - typically the monarchy or clergy - weren't exactly proponents of the bohemian vision.

by Angela Natividad    Jul- 5-07   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Good, Magazine, Poster   

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Comments



Comments

Pretty tasteless ad IMO.

Posted by: Anonymous on July 5, 2007 1:21 AM

Michaelangelo's work was a work of passion. This ad is a work of profit. Michaelangelo's work was a work recreating an act of self sacrifice as it might have appeared in its time. This ad is a work of vanity expressing an ancient event in "modern" terms. To give this ad any accolade shows what's wrong with the modern understanding of "good taste" and "reverence."

Posted by: Kyle on July 5, 2007 12:07 PM

first, it's Michelangelo, not "Michaelangelo". second, the concept is based off of Leonardo DaVinci's "Last Supper". third, as a Catholic and as an ad industry vet, i don't find this offensive. it's a beautiful concept well-executed. sorry if you're a little too close-minded to appreciate it. thing is, in this day and age, EVERYTHING is done for profit. hell, it's been like that for A WHILE. and who are you to presume that "Michaelangelo's" work was a "work of passion"? in fact, a good amount of Renaissance art was commissioned and paid for by the Church and wealthy benefactors back in the day (and most of the time, for the sake of propaganda). how much different is that from the advertising business model we have these days?

Posted by: POPE on July 5, 2007 1:02 PM

Pope, thanks for providing the correct spelling of Michelangelo. I hope it did not distract you away from the point of the message.

Everything is not done for monetary profit. If that were the case, we could strike words like charity and altruism from the dictionary.

Michelangelo did work for a commission, when he was paid and at the agreed amount. This was often a challenge. However, he does need to earn a living, but he did not live a life of excess. His was life described as abstemious.

How do I know this? Because his life is one of the most well documented ones of artists, sculptures, etc. Two biographies published in his lifetime. If you would like a taste of the the man's life and his work, watch "The Agony & the Ecstasy." What he created was not to sell a product; it was an expression of his faith and beliefs.

I am happy to read you are Catholic. Understanding what it means to be and live as a Catholic is more difficult than being a Catholic. Do not be offended if I side with the Vatican, a very authoritative source on Catholicism, on this issue rather than your opinion.

"Merely having an open mind is nothing. The object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid."
- GK Chesterton

Posted by: Kyle on July 5, 2007 1:30 PM

first, it's Michelangelo, not "Michaelangelo". second, the concept is based off of Leonardo DaVinci's "Last Supper". third, as a Catholic and as an ad industry vet, i don't find this offensive. it's a beautiful concept well-executed. sorry if you're a little too close-minded to appreciate it. thing is, in this day and age, EVERYTHING is done for profit. hell, it's been like that for A WHILE. and who are you to presume that "Michaelangelo's" work was a "work of passion"? in fact, a good amount of Renaissance art was commissioned and paid for by the Church and wealthy benefactors back in the day (and most of the time, for the sake of propaganda). how much different is that from the advertising business model we have these days?

Posted by: POPE on July 5, 2007 2:11 PM

Gee, wow, what a breakthrough idea! What's next from these big thinkers, Grant Wood, Edward Hopper? Looks like student work on an inflated production budget.

Posted by: Geoff Bush on July 6, 2007 11:23 AM

Gee, wow, what a breakthrough idea! What's next from these big thinkers, Grant Wood, Edward Hopper? Looks like student work on an inflated production budget.

Posted by: Geoff Bush on July 6, 2007 11:23 AM

yes, but even charity and altruism can't be done without money these days. our current society, for the most part, runs on it. and it's stuff like this, whether you like it or not, that comes out of that system.

it's nice to think that something was done with the purest of intentions. but you can't live your life in such absolutes. especially when you're analyzing the historical lives and activities of human entities such as Michelangelo (who, again, has nothing to do with this particular piece, so i'm trying to understand why he keeps getting brought up) and the Vatican.

and frankly, i don't appreciate your passive-aggressive attack on my Catholicism, Kyle. but i'm gonna take it with a grain of salt, just like with everything else in this business and this life...

Posted by: POPE on July 13, 2007 4:39 PM

I did not attack your Catholicism. I simply stated that claiming to be Catholic does not make you an authority on Catholicism. I further backed this idea that if I had to choose who best understands and represents what it means to be Catholic, I have to choose the Vatican. It is their specialty.

Being Catholic means /knowing/ and living the faith. It is lifelong journey of /education/ and experiences. That is a message that should ring true for all members of the Church. Yea, me too!

Posted by: Kyle on July 13, 2007 6:04 PM







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