Rapture series by James Roper
The pursuit of release or transcendence occur most purely within the seemingly opposing natures of religion and ‘sin’. This is dealt with explicitly in my Rapture series, the inspiration for which originated from my interest in Bernini’s sculpture ‘The Ecstasy of St.Teresa’ and how Bernini visualised ‘religious ecstasy’ in an abstract form and inadvertently drew comparisons to psycho-sexual release:
“He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it.” (Life of St.Teresa of Jesus – St.Teresa)
This is explicitly symbolised in the Rapture series by the use of porn stars as the vehicle for the expression of this ‘spiritual’ emotion, the shedding of carnal bodies giving way to an abstract purity beneath. The idea of release from the material to the spiritual is apparent in many religions as if there were a divine soul trapped in our earthly bodies, this is analogous to contemporary imagery found in comic books specifically the way in which Clark Kent, a normal man, sheds his clothes to become a Superman.