Within 20 minutes of the installation of a statue depicting a ‘Homeless Jesus’, police were called.
- The bronze statue was built to raise awareness of homelessness and remind people that all are created in the image of God.
- Police were called after the statue was mistaken for a homeless person.
- There are conflicting views on the statue and its purpose as some point out the irony of having anti-homeless architecture raise awareness of homelessness.
Timothy Schmalz’ ‘Homeless Jesus’ reminds people that all are created in the image of God.
The statue depicts a bench and the figure of a man covered in a blanket. It is only the figure’s wounded feet which one can see and it is through them that one can understand that the figure represents Jesus. Canadian sculptor Timothy Schmalz created the statue with the aim of raising awareness of homelessness and reminding people that all are created in the image of God. Currently, the statue is located at St. Barnabas Bay Village Episcopal Church. Furthermore, according to Priest Alex Martin, within twenty minutes of its installation, a passerby had called the police as they mistook the statue for a homeless person.
St. Barnabas Bay Village Episcopal Church and Priest Alex Martin tweeted:
Numerous people criticized the display, pointing out its irony.
Many pointed out the irony of having anti-homeless architecture raise awareness of homelessness. They noted that those who are homeless would much rather have benches they can use instead of a bronze statue depicting a homeless Jesus.
On the other hand, many appreciated the statue’s message and beauty.
While some criticized Schmalz’ work, others found his statue to be thought-provoking and an appropriate way to raise awareness. They noted that the purpose of art is to spark discussion and evidently, this piece is doing just that.