« Previous | Culture Monster Home | Next »

Colorado town upset over artistic depiction of Jesus Christ

October 1, 2010 |  2:23 pm

Citizens of the Colorado town of Loveland are upset this week over the display of a work of art that they claim shows Jesus Christ involved in an act of oral sex.

Enrique Chagoya's "The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals" is being shown as part of an exhibition at the Loveland Museum/Gallery. According to a report in the Loveland Reporter-Herald, protesters were scheduled to gather Friday morning at the art space to show their opposition to work that they consider obscene.

Chagoya's lithograph, which was created in 2003, is a multi-panel work that shows "comic book characters, religious iconography and imagery, appropriated engravings, Mexican pornography, ethnic stereotypes, Mayan symbols" and more, according to the artist's publisher, Shark's Ink.

The lithograph can be viewed on the Shark's Ink website, but the company has not given permission to reproduce the work online. The company said that the work resembles an accordion folded book that opens to a frieze 90 inches long.

A professor at Stanford University, Chagoya is a widely respected artist whose work is in the public collections of institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Protesters claim that part of Chagoya's creation shows Jesus engaged in an act of fellatio. The city's cultural services director, Susan Ison, has denied the claim, telling the Reporter-Herald that "Jesus is not having oral sex."

A Loveland city councilman who believes the artwork to be pornographic failed earlier this week to put the matter on the council's agenda, according to a report from Denver's ABC-7 News. But Republican Councilman Daryle Klassen has expressed his intention to keep trying.

Chagoya has a history of making politically and socially provocative art. In the past, he has satirized George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice and former California Gov. Pete Wilson. 

You can learn more about the art of Enrique Chagoya in the video above.

-- David Ng


Comments () | Archives (43)

South American immigrants waited until euro-Americans built a much better country than theirs and now want to just come in and continue the non-productive culture/lifestyle that ruined their country's.

A little boy drawing dirty pictures. That's all this is. I assure you,the Lord is not upset.

And was there a picture of Muhammed? Just asking...didn't think so. I'd hardly call this provactive art when you know the Christians will just turn the other cheek. You want provacative, draw Muhammed or don't pretend to be brave and outspoken. What a joke, provacative my a$$. What a fraud.

OK now do one of Muhammad having sex. We're waiting.
You hypocritical coward.

A Roman Catholic "Fatwa"has been issued...Be assured that God is not mocked.

It's so refreshing to see posters demanding that the ethics and actions of US citizens be measured against the standards of a bunch of criminal fanatics in the Middle East. As if the key moral question were: what would bin Laden do?

Stop labeling drug user's trash as art.
Just look at their expositions and you'll see that it doesn't uplift men's highest ideals as any work of art would.

Im with you SunnyJ, from cricifixes in urine to porno, we've seen it all this "provocative avant-garde artist" can dish, Im waiting for this weirdo to be truly provocative and include mohammed in his "art"
Go ahead chagoya...show us if you are that "provocative"

Doesn't the term "Christ" imply that Jesus was indeed the messiah prophesied in the Old Testament? Doesn't that, by definition, make the term mythological, and inappropriate for use by a modern newspaper? Sort of like saying "the Lord God Jesus?"

Now this is what art should do: provoke oppressive institutions.
Good for this man.

"Shock the bourgeousie" is soooo yesterday. I mean "last century."

Get a new shtick, Ricky.

So happens there is a Muhammed figure in this work, you ignorant philistines.
Our own Taliban is always alive and well, usually the epitome of religious hypocrites, who hide their secrets and preach to others. Chagoya is an honest, intelligent, peaceful man, the greatest danger to such hypocrites.

I bet this man is widely respected by the devil and his angels. Is he a provocative artist? A painter? Only in his pornographic and comical mind! He's a Stanford professor! So what! That does not mean he's better than the average man.

"He has satirized George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice and former California Gov. Pete Wilson." He picks on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. What does that tell you about this man? He's a pervert and a fool (1 Cor. 1:20-21). Who would like to reproduce his obscene work online but the trash diver!

Another article today in this paper describes a work by Cranach the Elder that is the subject of an international dispute over ownership. The Adam and Eve diptych is strikingly beautiful and intellectually compelling. It's easy to see why, 480 years after it was painted, people are still fighting over it.

In contrast, from the video, Chagoya's works give the impression of illustrations drawn up to go along with the usual political polemics. They are no more than glorified editorial cartoons illustrating a cliche. Protest dignifies his work with more attention than it is worth.

The distance between artists and con artists is growing ever narrower. If today's artists could actually paint, they would recreate the famous dogs-playing-poker painting and try to pass it off as political commentary. Some fool would probably buy it for thousands of dollars.

The obvious lack of talent has to be the reason for, the so called "artists", to try to make it in the world where nothing is sacred, which in turn it confirms the adage that olden times were always better. And this slippery slope is the result of the moral decay that America and the world are experiencing today; the most outrageous, the better. Now, Even Christ is depicted as homosexual now, thanks to the blasphemous agenda of the Sodomites of today's world, just like Joel Steen says that Christ that had nothing, not even a place to call His own, wants him to become rich like all the "Christian pastors" or as I call them: Snake oil peddlers. Even the Constitution is no more. Now we allow war crimes, massacres, wars under false pretenses and the list of evils continues unabetted. Did anybody say the end of times?


Darn, I'm looking around for that crucifix sitting in a glass of urine, it was just here a moment ago.....

Why haven't Hillary Clinton, President Obama, and General Petraeus called for the Loveland Museum/Gallery to stop this provocative presentation?

After all, the fella doing the fellating is the prophet Muhammed.

My 6 year old grandson can doodle better using his crayons. And he can speak clearer English than this Stanford professor.

If this pervert had done something similar with Muhammad in a nation with even a fair-sized MINORITY of Muslims (such as parts of the US) he would have been DEAD before the ink had even dried on the print edition of the LA Times.

My advice- get over it. It's just markings on paper. There's more important things to do in this world. Go donate some time to some sick kids or something. Go read to an elderly person in a nursing home.

1 2 3 | ยป


Recommended on Facebook

In Case You Missed It...


Explore the arts: See our interactive venue graphics


Tweets and retweets from L.A. Times staff writers.