Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Maelstrom over Political and Religious Art

"Prayer Circles" 18x24 acrylic canvas
 The Middle East is ablaze with hatred, anger and revenge. Their beloved Osama Bin Laden is dead, the perpetrators of 9/11 are hailed as heroes, and an evil plan which began in Benghazi and spread, destroyed an American Embassy and murdered four people including the Ambassador who was sodomized and brutally beaten before his death.

After discovering, via our own Presidency, that an amateur video was produced in July, the violence increased and spread like a cancer. The video gave them another excuse to burn the American Flag and continue their religious tantrum.

The flip side of that coin shows the contrast between a democratic society and a theocratic one. According to “The Gothamist” (see link below): “The Controversial representation of religious figures and objects has been inciting all the rage these days, and New York-born artist Andres Serrano's work "Piss Christ," which will be on view as part of an exhibition of the artist's work in Midtown next week, is no exception. The piece—a photograph of a crucifix soaked in the artist's urine—was condemned by Staten Island Representative Michael Grimm yesterday, who compared it to Innocence of Muslims, the anti-Islam film that has set off a rash of rioting and violence in the Arab world over the past few weeks.

"India Rising--the Found" 18x24 mixed media canvas
"As a Catholic, I find 'Piss Christ' to be vulgar and offensive, just as many in the Islamic world found 'Innocence of Muslims' to be highly offensive," Grimm said on Friday, according to the Grimm also railed at the Obama administration (surprise!) for not stopping the (private) Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art gallery on W. 57th Street from displaying the work. "The Obama administration's hypocrisy and utter lack of respect for the religious beliefs of Americans has reached an all-time high," he said. "I call on President Obama to stand up for Americans' values and beliefs and denounce 'Piss Christ' that has offended Christians at home and abroad."

And, though Times columnist Nicholas Kristof pointed out in an op-ed piece today that "Piss Christ" did not incite rioting like Innocence of Muslims did because the Arab world is on the brink of revolution, other Christian groups have also compared Serrano's work to the film, and are shaking their fists at Obama for not being more outraged. "It seems like we have a protected class for Muslims as well as some other segments of our population," Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, told Fox News. "But when it comes to Christians, it's an all-out war." 

Hasn't Stephen Colbert been pointing that out for years? 

"Inset Kirke" 16x20 oil on canvas (original SOLD) Prints available
If you would like to read more of this article, go to the following link:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, said the two incidents show a clear contrast between Islam and Christianity.

“You won’t have to worry about a mob of people storming the gallery after Sunday school lets out,” Perkins told Fox News. “Christ has been the subject of attacks for 2,000 years – as have his followers. As Christians, we have learned to turn the other cheek.”

Perkins said the lack of response from the White House over the “Piss Christ” display provide an unintentional recognition. “It’s recognition of the contrast between Christianity and Islam,” he said. “You don’t have to plead with Christians not to riot and burn and storm buildings simply because they are offended. That’s the difference. That’s why Christianity moves nations forward and Islam moves nations backwards.”

As for the display – Perkins said it’s being held in a private gallery – without taxpayer funding.
“They have their freedom to do what’s wrong,” he said. “That’s what’s great about America.”

How do you feel about religious art? Political art? Your comments and opinions are welcome!

Featured Artist
Ron DiCianni, whose painting “Spiritual Warfare” has sold the most prints of any of his paintings; in fact, tens of millions globally. Featured is a video of DiCianni’s commissioned work featuring the resurrection of Jesus Christ.