© 1996 The Andy Warhol Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society, NY

Price tags and motorcycles surround Jesus in Warhol’s 35-by-10-foot Last Supper (The Big C), also from 1986. The brilliant primary colors and the disjunctive repetition of Jesus and the apostles Thomas, James and Philip, in varying sizes, increase the tension between the divine and the earthly—pensive Jesus versus powerful, sexy motorcycles. Warhol emphasizes Jesus’ suffering and compassion by adding a stroke of paint, reminiscent of a teardrop, to the eye of the largest Jesus (left of center).

The commercial logos correspond to standard motifs in art: The owl, here copied from the Wise potato chip logo, traditionally represents wisdom, while a staring eye often denotes the eye of god. The eagle, represented by the Harley Davidson emblem, is an ancient symbol for the evangelist John, whose gospel recounts Jesus’ eucharistic promise: “The one who consumes my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life” (John 6:54).