Chocolate Jesus, or, Hallowed Be Thy Chewy Nougat Center

GateHouse – To be fair, if you’re an artist, and you make an anatomically correct sculpture of Jesus Christ out of chocolate, you are:

  1. Probably in some serious debt to the Hershey’s people
  2. Probably not in danger of being invited to a lot of Easter services
  3. Probably less an artist, more a fan of seeing your name on the Internets a lot

If you missed this one, congratulations; I expend a great deal of effort avoiding TV news broadcasts, but I confess that hearing the phrase “Chocolate Jesus” makes my head look at a TV whether I want it to or not (the same happens with pictures of Keira Knightley, although my head and I are pretty much in agreement on that one). Artist Cosimo Cavallaro has created 6-foot Jesus statue made out of milk chocolate (and called it “My Sweet Lord,” a title that he probably congratulated himself on for weeks) that was to be put on display this Holy Week in an art gallery attached to the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City. And so it was, for approximately 14 seconds before the gallery was inundated with angry callers and most of the world’s media sprinted Road Runner-style away from Iraq, Afghanistan and the 2007 Alberto Gonzales Make Stuff Up Festival to come cover the aftermath. The delicious, delicious aftermath.

The reaction to C-Jes was as swift as it was predictable: exhibit closes and everybody goes nuts, although this one was a little different when it was discovered that someone had started eating chocolate Jesus’ ears first.

But this is not the first time Cavallaro’s been involved in food-related goodness. According to The Media, he once “covered the interior of Room 114 of the Washington Jefferson hotel in New York with cheddar cheese. Two years later, Cavallaro sprayed cheese over the entire interior of a suburban house in Wyoming.” I mean, sure, it sounds weird, but what the stories don’t tell you is that the house was constructed entirely out of Triscuits.

But needless to say, the Catholic League, which never met an artist too insignificant to elevate to national prominence, fired up the Bat signal, although president Bill Donahue thankfully found time for a bizarre, uncomfortably inapplicable parallel:

“All those involved are lucky that angry Christians don’t react the way extremist Muslims do when they’re offended,” said Donahue, president of the Catholic League. If that name and that ability to not stay anywhere near on message sounds familiar, it’s because Donahue was the same do-unto-others sweetheart who said in 2004, “Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular … (Hollywood likes) to see the public square without nativity scenes. I like families. I like children. They like abortions.”

OK, first of all, the percentage of Hollywood that likes abortions cannot be higher than 60, maybe 70, but the key thing to remember here is this: chocolate Jesus is like a leprechaun, although much taller, and way tastier, and leprechauns probably don’t melt quite as quickly, but the point is that if you do not make a big hilarious and wholly entertaining stink about it, no one would have ever heard of Cosimo Cavallaro, except, of course, the guy whose house he coated in spray cheese. Each of the 970 Google news hits for the phrase “chocolate Jesus” – and I assure you, this is not a phrase I often find myself searching for – are entirely your fault. If you had kept your missalettes shut, chocolate Jesus would have been half-melted by now.

But, hey, it’s a good story. But I’m not sure what the outcome of this will be, although, if there is a God, He will send chocolate Jesus to the cheese house immediately, and then He’ll send me an giant fork.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

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