PSALM | not titled [Jesus with rising sun].

Australia 1971

not titled [Jesus with rising sun]. 2004
artist's proof
Signed and dated on verso, lower right corner in blue pen 'Michael / Henty / 21-02-04. Titled on verson, lower left corner in blue pen 'Untitled'.
printed image (irregular) 62.0 (h) x 42.4 (w) cm
Gordon Darling Australia Pacific Print Fund 2007
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
NGA 2007.71.1
© Psalm


The ‘sacred heart’ of Jesus is one of Christianity’s key symbols representing Christ’s divine love for humanity.  By replacing his heart with a money symbol, street artist Psalm inverts the perceived wholesomeness and selflessness normally attributed to Jesus. Ultimately anti-capitalist, this work highlights the consumerist and money worshipping society that abounds in contemporary culture, and which artists such as Psalm reference in their street art designs. It explores the idea that money is a religion that is tainted with corruption and indolence.  The placement of the money symbol on Jesus’ chest also references hip-hop culture due to the visual parity of rap artists donning “bling” as a sign of affluence and success.

Many street artists logo-jam, or ad-bust, by appropriating everyday images and slightly tweaking them to make new meanings. Here Psalm is jamming an historical woodcut image of Jesus. The money sign on his chest also alludes to the S on the chest of Superman. By depicting Jesus as a capitalist superhero, Psalm also questions the hegemony and power of the church in modern society.  

Pip Lean

Street by Lister

Subscribe to newsletter

You can also follow developments on twitter or facebook