Jesus Is On The Mainline

I’m what my wife calls a recovering Catholic. I have images in my head of sleeping with a crucifix over my bed as a child. I don’t know what gave me worse nightmares: The sight of a man nailed on the cross or the threat of eternal damnation.

As I grew older and began to question my religious teachings, I became more and more fascinated by the idea of Jesus and Christianity as a sociological or anthropological idea rather than a purely religious one based on faith. They are reflected in images such as a concrete statue of Christ off of a lonely two lane road in Western Kentucky or a barn in Central Illinois that proclaims “Repent!” to passersby. These photographs attempt to reflect that contradiction between the questioning of those beliefs with the wonder that I have for these outward manifestations of faith in Jesus and Christianity in segments of our society.

This project began with a road trip down I-55 to New Orleans a few years ago where I first came across these public manifestations of what I see as pure religious faith. It was also inspired by a blues song about having a direct line to Jesus sung by Mississippi Fred McDowell of the same name:

Jesus is on the mainline. Tell him what you want. Call him up and tell him.