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What's up, Jesus? Looney Tunes 'Last Supper' parody stirs controversy

April 11, 2009 |  9:01 am

The Gathering.hi res  

It's not exactly a religious-art brouhaha of "Piss Christ" proportions, but a painting that uses popular cartoon characters to parody Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper" is causing a bit of a stir in Old Town San Diego.

And just in time for Easter weekend.

"The Gathering," a new painting by artist Glen Tarnowski, uses Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian and Road Runner to stand in for Jesus and his disciples in da Vinci's famous 15th century fresco.

The painting is currently hanging in the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego. Jones, of course, was an animator at Warner Bros. where he rose to fame working on the Looney Tunes series among many projects before opening his own studio. The gallery is owned by Linda Jones Enterprises. (Linda was Chuck's only child.)

Tarnowski's painting has received a nonstop barrage of feedback since it went on display in the gallery's front window three weeks ago. Galley employees say they've received as many as 10 to 12 calls and messages a day including profane voicemails and notes taped to the gallery windows alleging the desecration of Christian values.

Art. Religion. Controversy. If only Sister Wendy were here to tell us what to think.

-- David Ng

Photo: "The Gathering," a painting by Glen Tarnowski on display at Chuck Jones Gallery.

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