Oil on canvas,
24" x 30"
Digital text added
Bible passages referred to in this cover:
Unfortunately, I discovered too late that the premise for this artwork may be too shaky to be strictly considered prostitution. Therefore, the cover on display will be the one and only issue, (and so is likely to be an extremely valuable collector's item.)
It was pointed out to me that Abraham acted under duress when he said nothing to stop the Pharaoh from taking his wife (Abraham thought he and Sarah would be killed unless he pretended that they weren't married). While it is clear that Abraham profited from the deal, it's not clear why he thought he'd be killed if he didn't pretend to be her brother. Even Pharaoh didn't seem to be aware of any threat to Abraham.
I tried to find another story to serve as the cover for Prostitution magazine. To my surprise, I couldn't find a rock-solid example of prostitution being condoned. In the Bible you can kill children, slaughter people from other religions, stock your harem, stone people to death, offer your daughters up for gang rape, own slaves, steal your brother's inheritance, and partake in mass slaughter -- and be rewarded by God -- but you'd better not be a prostitute! I've included this artwork, flawed as it may be, for the purpose of discussion.
Genesis 12: 10-20
When famine came to the land Abram went down into Egypt to stay there for the time, since the land was hard pressed by the famine. On the threshold of Egypt he said to his wife Sarai, "Listen! I know you are a beautiful woman. When the Egyptians see you they will say, 'That is his wife,' and they will kill me but spare you. Tell them you are my sister, so that they may treat me well because of you and spare my life out of regard for you." When Abram arrived in Egypt the Egyptians did indeed see that the woman was very beautiful. When Pharaoh's officials saw her they sang her praises to Pharaoh and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's palace. He treated Abram well because of her, and he received flocks, oxen, donkeys, men and women slaves, she-donkeys and camels. But Yahweh inflicted severe plagues on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram's wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, "What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, 'She is my sister,' so that I took her for my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take her and go!" Pharaoh committed him to men who escorted him back to the frontier with his wife and all he possessed.
Genesis 29: 15-30
Laban said to Jacob, "Because you are my kinsman, are you to work for me without payment? Tell me what wages you want." Now Laban had two daughters, the elder named Leah, and the younger Rachel. There was no sparkle in Leah's eyes, but Rachel was shapely and beautiful, and Jacob had fallen in love with Rachel. So his answer was, "I will work for you seven years to win your younger daughter Rachel." Laban replied, "It is better for me to give her to you than to a stranger, stay with me." To win Rachel, therefore, Jacob worked seven years, and they seemed to him like a few days because he loved her so much. Then Jacob said to Laban, "Give me my wife, for my time is finished, and I should like to go to her." Laban gathered all the people of the place together, and gave a banquet. But when night came he took his daughter Leah and brought her to Jacob, and he slept with her.
(Laban gave his slave girl Zilpah to be his daughter Leah's slave.) When morning came, there was Leah. So Jacob said to Laban, "What is this you have done to me? Did I not work for you to win Rachel? Why then have you tricked me?" Laban answered, "It is not the custom in our country to give the younger before the elder. Finish this marriage week and I will give you the other one too in return for your working with me another seven years." Jacob did this, and when the week was over, Laban gave him his daughter Rachel as his wife. (Laban gave his daughter Rachel his slave girl Bilhah to be her slave.) So Jacob slept with Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah. He worked with Laban another seven years.