He’s not the Messiah, he’s a VERY naughty boy: Spanish right-wing fury over ‘sexualised’ and ‘homoerotic’ Jesus poster as Christ poses semi-naked and part draped in cloth

  • Salustiano Garcia’s portrayal of Jesus has made many in Spain hot and bothered
  • He based the painting of the holy figure on his son
  • Critics said the painting was ‘sexual’ and ‘homoerotic’

A poster of Christ to promote Easter Week in Seville has drawn a sharp backlash from Spanish ultra-conservatives, who have condemned it as ‘sexualised’ and ‘homoerotic’.

The poster, designed by the Sevillian artist Salustiano Garcia, shows Christ after his resurrection from the dead standing half-naked in front of a crimson background, with the lower part of his body covered with a white cloth.

It shows ‘the radiant side of Holy Week’ in the ‘purest style of this prestigious painter’, said the Council of Fraternities and Guilds, which organizes the main Easter Week events in the southern city.

However, in a reaction on social media, many people condemned the poster as ‘sexualised’.

“This is absolutely disgraceful and an aberration,” wrote the ultra-conservative Catholic IPSE, which says it promotes “respect for Christian symbols” and is active in opposing abortion.

The poster, designed by Seville artist Salustiano Garcia (pictured, left), shows Christ standing half-naked in front of a crimson background after his resurrection from the dead.

The poster, designed by Seville artist Salustiano Garcia (pictured, left), shows Christ standing half-naked in front of a crimson background after his resurrection from the dead.

In a reaction on social media, many people condemned the poster as 'sexualised'

In a reaction on social media, many people condemned the poster as ‘sexualised’

The artist told the right-wing ABC newspaper that his depiction of Christ, which was based on an image of his son, was 'gentle, elegant and beautiful'

The artist told the right-wing ABC newspaper that his depiction of Christ, which was based on an image of his son, was ‘gentle, elegant and beautiful’

Spain decriminalized homosexuality in 1978, three years after Franco's dictatorship ended

Spain decriminalized homosexuality in 1978, three years after Franco’s dictatorship ended

The image depicted Christ as ‘feminine’ and ‘camp’, it said, demanding a public apology from the artist for a poster that was not in the spirit of Holy Week.

Javier Navarro of the far-right Vox party joined the chorus of disapproval, saying the poster “sought to provoke” and did not promote the aim of “encouraging the faithful to participate in Holy Week in Seville” in comments on X, formerly Twitter.

The artist told the right-wing ABC newspaper that his depiction of Christ, which was based on an image of his son, was ‘gentle, elegant and beautiful’ and created with ‘deep respect’.

‘To see sexuality in my image of Christ, you’d have to be crazy,’ he said, insisting there was ‘nothing’ in his painting that ‘wasn’t already represented in works of art dating back hundreds of years’.

Juan Espadas, leader of Spain’s ruling Socialist party in the southern Andalusia region, immediately came to the defense of the artwork, condemning the “expressions of homophobia and hatred” it had caused, saying it combined the region’s “tradition and modernity’.

Holy Week celebrations, which commemorate the death and resurrection of Christ, are very important in deeply Catholic Spain, especially in Seville, which is widely seen as the center of such celebrations.

Spain decriminalized homosexuality in 1978, three years after Franco’s dictatorship ended, and is one of the world’s most open countries regarding LGBTQ rights, allowing same-sex marriage and allowing gay couples to adopt since 2005.