Borys Tarasenko Draws a Sweet Jesus

Borys Tarasenko describes himself as 'Edmonton artist. Eater of lunch'. Which, of course, tells you more about him than it appears to. He's got a wonderfully dry wit.

I first saw Borys Tarasenko at the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair here in Edmonton. He was at a table strewn with colouring books called Sweet Jesus. As someone who has encountered plenty of religious imagery, I was drawn in and found the drawings funny. Irreverent perhaps. Taking a playful swipe at Christian doctrine, I expected, but then I looked closer. These were not irreverent jabs at the Christian faith. These were old stories made new in a delightfully weird, contemporary style. When I found out that Borys' father is an Ukrainian Catholic priest–that Borys is speaking to the tradition of religious iconography from within–I became very interested. 

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