Freaky Friday: Peace and love abound

Rather uplifting art news this morning. No masterpieces stolen or drawn on with crayon, no street artist getting arrested or–more likely–selling out, no grotesque fart of a piece going for millions at auction. Instead there was mature dialogue that fostered understanding. Hmmm….I’ll put it down to Freaky Friday.

 Read on:

Last week, I posted about a woman who walked into the Loveland Museum/Gallery and destroyed a piece of artwork by Enrique Chagoya. I questioned at the end of my article whether critiques with the weight and emotional volume of Chagoya’s print – which depicted Jesus in sexual acts (a Christian favourite) and an Islamic prophet kneeling before pigs, among other things.

Under normal circumstances, the immoral act of destroying ones art would likely make an artist completely irate. Chagoya, however, has agreed to work with the pastor of Loveland’s Resurrection Fellowship church to create a piece of artwork depicting Jesus in a positive light. Pastor Jonathan Wiggins wrote Chagoya after opposition to the artwork began asking if Chagoya would be able to “offer [his] artistic ability and compose an image of Christ representing love and understanding, something precious.”

Chagoya agreed, and the project has received overwhelming approval from the 1,400-member congregation, according to the Denver Post, who quoted pastor Wiggins as saying that “we had standing ovations at the end.” Six members of the congregation are said to have walked out in protest of the redemption efforts.

More here at Art Threat.


3 thoughts on “Freaky Friday: Peace and love abound

  1. Oh, boy. This seems to be my morning for taking issue on blogs.

    If art depicting Jesus doing naughty things is destroyed by a resentful Christian, then the person who destroyed the art has in fact paid the artist a sort of huge compliment – the art was meant to provoke, and it did. The observer did not smirk, turn away, or drone on about the fact that it was deep cultural commentary.

    It’s a variant of free speech, the fact that art can be deliberately shocking these days. The person who destroyed it may have taken it too literally, but certainly not too lightly. Presumably there will be legal and financial consequences for that person. Again, because of free speech, the artist can commit any crimes of the imagination he or she wishes without consequences.

    Do I think the destroyer was “right”? Not at all. It’s just…it’s not an equal playing field, these meetings of cultures.

  2. It doesn’t sound like the piece was done entirely to provoke people. The artist described it as a commentary on some of the practices of the Catholic church, not the loving nature of Christ, and then worked out an agreement to do a work of art depicting Christ for the local church.

    I think it goes too far to say he was out to provoke just the reaction he received and look how he profits by it while the resentful Christian suffers. It doesn’t seem as calculated as all that to me.

    Shocking art as a variant of free speech with all attending pluses and minuses?–oh yes, and it is quite an interesting beast.

  3. Well, I’m completely ignorant about the actual circumstances – and the art -, so the foregoing was a bit of a rant on my part. But thanks for being willing to discuss with me – I deeply appreciate being able to have this sort of interchange. And your points are well-taken.

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