A Denver-based artist's controversial painting depicting the "Star Wars" character Darth Vader, Jesus Christ, and New York City's Twin Towers has begun selling copies on eBay.
The painting is entitled "The Prophets" and was created by 23-year-old Denver artist Cedric Chambers last November. The artwork shows a large Darth Vader figure carrying Jesus from the smoldering ruins of the formerly-known Twin Towers in New York City that were destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attack, also remembered as 9/11. The painting was sold last year for $800, and copies of the painting have been selling recently on the website eBay.
Although the painting holds the possibility of offending multiple groups of people, including Christians, Chambers told The Huffington Post that those who are most offended by his controversial work are New Yorkers, who feel it is insensitive to couple images of the 2001 terrorist attack with a pop culture icon like Darth Vader.
"The main criticism has been from New Yorkers," Chambers told The Huffington Post. The young artist went on to claim that most people are not offended by the work of art: "For the most part people love it, especially older people -- those between 35 and 45. They see it as a conversation piece."
Chambers writes on his website that "the relationship between Jesus, and Darth Vader is a messianic one. Both are prophets with similar aspects; virgin births, self-sacrifice, magical powers.The world trade centers are a result of religious fervor; and the interpretations of the Prophet Muhammed. Prophetic cultural reactions. Synthesized, historico interpretations of Christ, represented at vastly different periods of time. To me this piece represents the battle between good and evil, in a way that accepts that they are the same."
The painting has been dubbed controversial and offensive by several viewers on the internet. Some have compared it to the highly controversial artwork dubbed "Piss Christ," a 1987 photograph by artist Andres Serrano that showed a crucifix submerged in human urine.
"This is about getting attention, and I don't think it's very good art," one viewer commented on Chambers' artwork on the Christian Forums website, while The Huffington Post questioned if the artwork was "the most offensive painting ever?"
Prints of the oil painting are currently being sold on eBay for a current bid of $31.