The Pope

That this is an image of Pope John Paul II is less important than that it is the symbol of an incredibly powerful human organization. And it is important to remember that the role of the pope is indeed a human invention. It is especially appropriate that this portrait has the puzzle in its medium, for what is more puzzling than the lengths humankind will go to in order to wield the sacred. The Pope. The historical Holy Roman Empire. The Vatican. All symbols of a power used throughout history with controversial results. We are still influenced today though many people do not even realize the threads of their conditioning.

This portrait represents humanity’s greatest strength and weakness – our ability to organize under one banner for good or ill. This is meant to be a powerful piece with the obvious use of red symbolizing blood shed on the cross as well as blood spilled over the centuries by the Church. The white of the robe is not only accurate as papal dress but also meant to differentiate the pope from the history of his station. Every pope starts afresh and we hope with pure intent. John Paul II was chosen for the sadness of his expression and because his role was a positive one that began and finished this century.