St Peter is the same size dimensions as Lo Spasimo while the bubble wrap connects with the cellophane of St Matthew, both similarities placing the piece firmly in the same line of exploration as the other pieces in the series. Unlike the cellophane, the bubble wrap obscures the image so thoroughly that it is only with prior knowledge of the original that it is possible to decipher what is depicted beneath. As with the other pieces in this series, such a device leads to a conflation of the commercial and the sacred; the very image of St Peter is lost so that the painting may be wrapped in cheap protective plastic, ensuring it is not damaged on the way to the shop. The commercial purposes of art have achieved a dominance over the previously vital spiritual purposes, and in a sense, they become quasi-spiritual purposes in themselves. As theorist John Milbank explains: 'Capitalism, since it requires for its very operation (and not as mere ideological concealment) a belief in abstract fetishes and the worship of the spectacle of idealised commodities, is a quasi religion.'1 The necessity of fetishisation and worship under capitalism allows a supplanting of spirituality, which manifests itself in art through the commodification and total commensurability of all art-objects.
1. John Milbank, “Paul against Biopolitics” in Paul's New Moment, ed. John Milbank, Slavoj Žižek, and Creston Davis (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Brazos. 2010). 21.
St. Peter, 2015, Oil on Panel, 10x15cm