Snake Altar

Snake Altar, mixed technique – acrylic, markers and pencil on 6 canvases, 2022, 280 x 200 cm

We live in a country where is constitutionally guaranteed that we are not bound by any religion. At the same time, however, we are witnessing that the church intervenes more and more in both public and private matters.

With a set of six oil paintings, arranged in the shape of an altar, I wanted to critically point out the activities of this huge opinion-forming organization – which, in addition to the generally known positive effects on society, also has a negative effect.

The fight against gender equality, the sexual abuse of children within the church and the subsequent silence and inadequate or even absent punishments for the guilty, the attitude towards sexual minorities, domestic violence that the victim has to endure as a martyr, attitude towards divorces, constant attempts to completely ban abortions, manipulation through inducing fear, disrespecting scientific knowledge or exposing seniors to infection during the pandemic, these are just some of its harmful effects on society.

I tried to point out some of them in the pictures using symbols and contrasts. The transparent figures represent the victims whose suffering is overlooked, the contrast between the decorative drapery and the torn black and white figure expresses the seeming safety in the domestic environment of the outwardly perfect family, the fire symbolizes the flames of the Inquisition.

Snakes, which the church has been using for centuries as a symbol of evil, I used as a symbol of evil in the church.

I am aware that in any large group of people there are individuals with a whole spectrum of opinions and behavior – from modern day saints sacrificing their lives to help others to fanatical psychopaths, these works are not intended to condemn the church as a whole and in any case not believers for their faith. But there is still a lot of room for improvement. With the enormous influence that the church has, this is the only way we can become a tolerant and open society. 

These are works created using a combined technique – acrylic, carbon, markers and white pastel on canvas, the total size of the altar is 280 x 200 cm.

Art project was created as a semester work at the Academy of Arts in Banská Bystrica in the studio of doc. Mgr. art. Ján Triaška, ArtD.