Just last month I was in an Art Institute and various Renaissance depictions of Christ showed Him writhing in pain....which made me wince and turn away. How can one worship before such a piece, when in fact it is revolting to one's sensibilities?
I so much prefer actual Byzantine Iconography which focuses on the spiritual nature of Christ and His saints, and leads to contemplation, meditation and prayer.
I agree with you on your opinion. However, I think the western realism is supposed
to cause an emotional reaction. I too have had a similar reaction at times. The way I take it is, you are forced to face exactly what Christ did for us by becoming man, knowing he would be rejected. You can't hide from it, it's too blatantly obvious. When I thought of it like this, I was able to appreciate the crucifix in a new way.
I don't think, this concept of being 'disturbed' is so foreign to Orthodox either. In a talk I had with a local Orthodox (GOA) priest, he described how many things in Orthodox worship are made to be disturbing and uncomfortable. Fasting, standing for a long liturgy, 'deformed' iconography, etc. cause a person to reflect on Christ. This is just a different method to the same goal.