Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Marithe and Francois Girbaud: Last Supper Advert

Marithe François Girbaud is an international clothing company based in France. It was founded in 1964 by François and Marithé Girbaud. The stores are located in Paris and Beverly HillsIn March 2005 Marithe and Francois Girbaud redesigned the painting of the Last Supper by Da Vinchi in their ad for jeans. In this ad all disciples and jesus are shown as women and the only male figure in the advert is portraying the character of john and is only wearing jeans and is naked from the waist up.

This advert was shown in big cities such as Paris and New York and also shown in the fashion capital of the world 'Milan'. The ad was shown in magazines and on billboards for weeks in paris and new york but however was banned in milan where Da Vinchi's painting is held because many people and the authorities found it offensive. I am a christian myself but however I am not overly religious and still do question my religion but when looking at this advert I did not find it offensive but do see why many religious people did find this offensive. I feel that many people found this photographed advert very offensive because of how the sacred religious Da Vinchi painting has been copied, changed and modernised like a parody and a joke just to advertise jeans which really even isn't the main focus in the photograph.

I also then compared the photograph to the sacred painting of 'The Last Super' and saw that the adverts composition of people in the photograph and the amount of people is nearly the exact same as the painting. I also saw that 'John' in the photograph is shown differently to how in the painting because of how he is leant over the women who is hugging him. This could show that she is being sexual to the man in the photograph by kissing his naked neck and body which people could find more offensive because of how he is the only man in the image and how the advertising company is trying to show 'sexual equality' between men and women, which they say in their defence. I also asked my mum who is a bit more of a religious Christian than I am to see what her view on this advert was. She felt that its very intriguing and doesn't find it offensive but sees it as a bit of a mockery of peoples religious beliefs, she also couldn't quite figure out what they are trying to advertise in the advert. 

Marithe and Francois Girbaud's didn't want this to offend religious beliefs but however wanted to prove a point about femininity. Their defense was: "Modern society has enabled women to achieve sexual equality with men only by sacrificing their femininity. This advertisement´s interpretation of Leonardo´s painting does not trivialise the sacred, but rather creates a new perception of femininity by presenting men, instead of women, in a position of fragility". The company also said that image is not offensive but a tribute to women. It was inspired by Dan Brown's bestseller The Da Vinci Code". However this advert was still banned by the advertising standards of Italy and by a french judge because they found it offensive to Catholics. The french judge said: “The offence done to Catholics far outweighs the desired commercial goal,” he said. He ordered that all ads on display be taken down within three days". 

These are also some other adverts that have made a parody of the 'Last Super' painting and used it to promote their products or company.

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