Jacopo Cardillo, an Italian sculptor of international fame whose art name is Jago, definitely took this definition to a whole new level when he decided recently to “undress” Benedict XVI and portray him shirtless instead of dressed in the usual papal regalia.
Ever since, the technically remarkable sculpture has been the object of both criticism and praise, with some viewing it as desecrating the image of the emeritus pontiff while others judge it as an honest portrayal. For Jago, the work of art was never meant to be “derisive,” but rather a celebration of Benedict XVI, whom he considers to be a model for what every pope should be.
“I consider this man to be the greatest theologian alive,” he told Crux in a phone interview.
And, by the way, he’s right: Benedict is our greatest living theologian. Ad multos annos!