Date4 Apr 2020
I’m not sure who he is supposed to be a likeness of. He reminds me of the Mexican-American actor Danny Trejo, but we’ve always called him Jesus.
I found Jesus eight years ago when I moved into my first flat in Auckland. He hung above the stove, encrusted in immoveable layers of dust and cooking oil. Nobody knew where he came from, he had just always been.
I find the weary downturn of his eyes and moustache comforting. He’s been there too. He’s seen it all a hundred times. He grasps a half empty wine skin, wood forming supple indentations around his hard fingers. What would Jesus do in times like these? Probably tell you to chill out and have a wine.
His presence is a comfort. He is an icon of memory. A totem of connection. He reminds me of cold winters in damp villas, of kitchen dance parties, and flat dinners. He reminds me of the smell of coffee and sun on summer mornings. He reminds me of falling apart laughing or falling apart crying with the closest of friends.
These days he hangs on my wall, dust and oil still present, in his celestial majesty. His presence quiet and reassuring. Haley Parkin – gallery assistant and assistant registrar