“Celestial Bodies” The Sistine Ceiling
Project info

“Celestial Bodies” The Sistine Ceiling

The work presents a digital collage combining Michelangelo’s story of the Sistine Chapel ceiling with a series of over 500 composited photographs of the artist’s body. The narrative begins at the altar and is divided into three sections. In the first three paintings, Michelangelo tells the story of The Creation of the Heavens and Earth; this is followed by The Creation of Adam and Eve and the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden; finally, there is the story of Noah and the Great Flood.
What does the Sistine Chapel ceiling represent for me as an artist? The Sistine Chapel had great symbolic meaning for the church as the primary sacred space in the Vatican, used for great ceremonies such as electing and inaugurating new popes. For me as an artist this is also a monumental work with a collection of individual portraits.
Every character, male or female, old or young that was painted by Michelangelo is now replaced by one naked man, my own body- referencing both the nudity that was present in the original version of Michelangelo’s masterpiece (later subverted by church censorship) as well as offering an overt reference to the rumors surrounding Michelangelo’s own sexuality. 
As Michelangelo is known for his studies of anatomy, this work presents a contemporary take. Aside from the general anatomical exploration of the human form, there is also a personal search for the artist’s growing awareness of his own body’s transformation over the course of a matter of years - the photos in the work were taken over a period of more than a decade.