What is considered sacred? What signifies a tribute and what is blasphemy? It’s often a fine line and subject to the attitudes of the time we live within. German artist Miriam Jonas rides this touchy razors-edge, creating relief portraits of clerics inside tin-cans using a very unusual medium: Play-Doh.[see_also]
The result is a lot like a colorful version of art you’d find hidden in the corner niche of a giant cathedral. Displayed together however, her work becomes what she calls Polka-Popes, arranged in a polka-dot pattern borrowed from traditional Spanish culture. The tiny, almost jewel-like figures draw us in to their small world, begging us to explore each individual and contemplate both the past and future of the Catholic church. It’s a timely topic as the church transitions to a new Pope and a new era.
All of Jonas’ work is provoking, both in its brilliant use of color and form, and – like her Polka Popes – in its ability to make us question what we consider normal. Be sure to check out her bleached-out series’ All I Got and Narren at miriamjonas.de.