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April 28, 2009

Re: Broken for you

Mark Hemingway has an update in The Corner on the controversial Obama painting, including this quote from the artist:

I wanted to create a dialog politically but not religiously. I didn't mean to make fun of anybody's religion; maybe I did so naively but I didn't mean it that way. In the bible Jesus is The Truth and comparing Obama that way isn't something I meant to do at all.

Apparently, I've upset a lot of people. And I've decided that's not what I wanted to do and I'm not going to display it in the park on Wednesday ... art is meant to be somewhat provocative but the religious element went way farther than I had anticipated.

Read more.

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Steve (SBK)

Wow. Good for him. I agree with this:
" While many artists simply see provocation simply as means of promotion and feeding their egotistical desires, it's pretty refreshing to hear an artist admit that cares more about what he's trying to say than simply playing with the ambiguity of perception — let alone admit that on some level he failed to properly convey his artistic vision. If only the rest of the art world was similarly free of pretension and posessed the capacity to be self-critical."

Jason Taylor

Interestingly the death of General Wolfe was painted that way with Christlike imagery. I don't know if anyone protested at the time. Although considering that the American Revolution took place about fifteen years later one might whimsically wonder if it really was unlucky...

Gina Dalfonzo

That's a good point, Jason. But I still think there's a difference between Christlike imagery and Christ imagery, if you know what I mean. For instance, literature and film are full of "Christ figures," but they don't go around with actual crowns of thorns on their heads or anything. We're not supposed to see a line between them and the real Christ that's so blurry that you think they might be the actual Messiah; we're supposed to see them as being LIKE Christ. Does that make sense?

Jason Taylor

Actually Gina, Wolfe was painted with his hands outstreatched ninety degrees as if he was being crucified. The point was apparently taken at the time; at least it was taken later, and suprisingly no one reacted. Apparently everyone was just overjoyed with the glut of victories.

It was an odd choice as Wolfe was hardly a saintly fellow-even when making due allowances for the exigencies of his vocation. But he wasn't shockingly evil and he WAS the conqueror of Quebec.

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