Most right-wing Christians are probably irritated by that liberal lefty Noah; who built an ark in advance of the flooding of the entire Earth – and invited two of EVERYONE to come. Typical.
It’s one of those stories in Genesis that shows God as a bitter vindictive punisher-in-chief with anger issues. According to the tale, the Lord saw how utterly wicked people on earth had become; so he said, “I will destroy from the earth the people I have created. And with them, the animals, birds, and creeping things” (Genesis 6:5–7).
This is where Italian street artists Zed1 and Bonobolabo, frequent artistic collaborators, took their inspiration for this new mural painted in a small town 37 miles from Bologna called Russi. In a whimsical fashion they decide what kind of couples – and simply friends – might have gotten on the “Ark of Love” – a modern twist on the story that included only baby-making duos. It made sense if the earth was going to be repopulated after the mass-killing God had planned, but these artists have decided to open the cast to inter-racial, same-sex, even simply friends – because that is how love is.
“On this utopian ark everyone loves without impositions, limits, and arrogance,” say the artists. “The boundaries of stereotypes and violence are broken down and no one is judged.” The illustrators have made skateboard decks and prints together these last few years that combine their mutual talents for eclectic characters who could be your neighbors, could be your family, could be people who work at the local grocery store or laundromat. All of them should be saved from the flood, right?
Like Zed1 says, the seas can get pretty rough so you are better off with someone who can help you weather the storms – regardless of the actual nature of your relationship. “Noah’s Ark is revisited in a modern key that includes many nuances of the same love which connects all living beings on our planet,” say the artists.
“The selection of animals that have boarded the boat was not made only for the purpose of reproduction of the species, according to tradition, but from love’s point of view, which doesn’t follow rules. Alligators hug walruses and cranes, a zebra kisses a cow, two lions with thick manes huddle together, two people weave their bodies, a rooster stares at a hen, while the red-dressed artist looks into the eyes of his pug, showing what love means to him.”
In the original Biblical story, even the crusty old man in the sky reconsiders his original plan to flood the world and accepts that humans are permanently imperfect. “Never again will I curse the ground because of man or send a flood to destroy all living things, even though mankind’s heart is evil from childhood.” Always has to get in a last zing, doesn’t he?
By the way, thanks for the Rainbow, big guy. So, so pretty.
Zed1. “An ark of love”. In collaboration with Bonobolabo. Russi, Italy, 2022. (photo © Marco Miccoli)