“Passion” inspired artwork of Gibson’s assistant director Jan Michelini to be unveiled in U.S.

Mel Gibson’s assistant director for “The Passion of the Christ”, Jan Michelini, will unveil the artwork inspired by the film on May 12 at the Kolibri Gallery. The unveiling, which takes place at one of the largest galleries in the U.S. will be attended by a host of celebrities from the worlds of art, music, film and philanthropy.

Michelini, 24, was deeply inspired by the experience of working on the film in which he was struck twice by lighting – once during the filming of the Crucifixion scene, and once during the filming of the Sermon on the Mount.  Of the burst of creativity that produced the paintings of themes such as the face of Christ, angels and Christ crucified, he said, “I had so much energy from this movie and so many things changing inside of me, that I had to release it somehow."

He attributes his deepening faith to his work on the film which he calls his “second baptism.”  Jan Michelini has the distinction of being, along with his twin sister, the first baby ever baptized by Pope John Paul II at the beginning of his pontificate in 1978.

He recently completed his thesis on “The Passion of the Christ” and graduated from the Catholic University in Rome.  He has also studied cinematography under acclaimed director Emir Kusturica (“Underground”, “Time of the Gypsies”), and worked on "La Via Degli Angeli" ("Up To The Angels"), an award-winning Italian drama.

According to Michelini, the unfolding of his artistic expression has grown in equal measure to the deepening of his faith: "Whenever you breathe, whenever you sing, whenever you speak, there is something of your soul coming out ...  Faith in this world, it's in the atmosphere.  I want to carry a message.  I have to say something. It's very deep, but it's also very simple.  It's a message of love."

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