When I first saw the The New York Times article titled Woman Arrested in Colorado After Destroying Artwork, I checked my calendar to make sure it was 2010. What makes a person take a crowbar to break plexi-glass in front of art then tear it into pieces? The Loveland Museum would like to know the answer.
What happened to freedom of speech and expression? Kathleen Folden of Kalispell, Montana was offended by a Enrique Chagoya lithograph titled: The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals. According to Dave Itzkoff of The Denver Post: “Mr. Chagoya, a professor of art and art history at Stanford University, told The Post that the lithograph was a commentary on revelations of child abuse by Catholic priests.”
Appears that people are getting worked up over something they haven’t seen or don’t know the background behind the artist’s intention. According to Chagoya: “My work is about critiquing institutions and politics. I wasn’t trying to portray Christ; it’s a collage of cutouts from different books.”
However, critics saw Jesus receiving oral sex in the lithograph. As a result, the Loveland Museum had protesters, the local city council meeting had 200 people show up, and Councilman Daryle Klasssen received over 1700 emails criticizing the exhibit.
If everyone destroyed everything we were offended by, what would be left? Not much at all.
Here’s a link to the piece of art: