In the Judeo-Christian Bible, it is said God created the human being in his own image and likeness. According to the Bible, the first human being created was Adam. God later created Eve as a companion for Adam.
From this narrative, the image of God was created. Since God created Adam first, the logic is that God is a male. As Judeo-Christian spread to the West, it was embraced as the official state religion.
The Western world seized the opportunity to portray God as a white Aryan man with a long white beard. For centuries, this has been the image of God in the minds of those introduced to the Judeo-Christian faith.
But somebody is challenging the conventional narrative, angering many. A young female artist, Harmonia Rosales from Chicago has created her version of what she believes is the image of God.
The artist depicts God as a black woman with grey hair. Apart from the controversial painting, Harmonia also painted the first human created by God as a black woman. She named the painting “The Creation of God.”
According to Harmonia, she was drawn to the idea of creating artwork with meaning, producing the paintings to show people that anybody is free to portray God as they believe.
Harmonia explained in an interview with the Black Entertainment Television network Bet Awards:
“I knew my transformation would draw attention to the statement I wanted to make but the point here is to consider why we have accepted our historical representation of the beginning of life, of the Creator. The original representation excludes something very important: women and people of color … Perhaps it is time to rethink.”
In a Buzzfeed interview, Harmonia said she was motivated to challenge two things: white domination over black, and male supremacy over female. She believes it time for equality. To achieve this goal, Harmonia explained she crafted the controversial image to spark serious public discourse.
“I wanted to take a significant painting, a widely recognized painting that subconsciously or consciously conditions us to see white male figures as powerful and authoritative and flip the script, establish a counter-narrative. White figures are a staple in classic art featured in major museums. They are the “masters” of the masterpieces. Why should that continue?” she said.
When Harmonia posted her work on social media, it went viral.
However, some condemned her work, sparking a disturbing social media frenzy. The idea of a black female God attracted angry comments.
“This is the dumbest thing I’ve seen in a while,” one tweet said.
Another tweet: “Imagine if we got paintings of black people and replaced the black people with whites!”
A woman on Instagram further accused Harmonia of plagiarism: “Why bite off someone else’s masterpiece in order to honour black women?”
But Harmonia maintains her work is original. She said it took time to get the face of her black female God. “I wanted to feel the spirit of the painting. No models were used. These faces are purely from my head.”
— YLÊ (@ylerosa) May 7, 2017
Whether copied or original, it isn’t the focus. The focus is the remarkable thought that the all-powerful deity revered by many in the world is a black female. It sparks some serious brain exercise.
What do you think? Do you believe in the traditional image and likeness of God being shown to the world for many centuries by white Europeans? Share your opinion with us the in the comments below.
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