SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Jesus returned to Holy Cross church on Cottage Road last week. Technically, he never left and it’s only an artistic depiction, but it’s still prompted a lot of chatter on Facebook by detractors and admirers of the piece alike. Now, the artist who created the perpetually talked-about work is having his say — again.
On Wednesday, a pine tree partially obscuring the 90-foot, ceramic-and-steel illustration of Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and ascension was cut down. The artwork’s lower portion, long-hidden behind the evergreen, depicts Jesus during the crucifixion. His bright, heaven-facing eyes are a main feature.
Some locals have dubbed the striking portrait the “Googley-Eyed Jesus.”
When word of the portrait’s return hit Facebook, many people expressed their opinions.
Riley Shryock called it “Our Lady of the Bad Acid Trip.”
“I’m so excited to go see him,” wrote Amy Simpson Tavano, “I’ve lived in this house long enough to see the tree planted, watch the tree grow, plot the tree’s death and see my wishes fulfilled. What a day.”
Troy R. Bennett
Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.
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