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'Gay art': The Catholic League responds to commentary on 'anti-Christian' remark

December 8, 2010 |  9:30 am

  Georgia O'Keeffe Goat's Horn with Red On Monday, I wrote a column saying that the New York-based Catholic League, which describes itself as the nation's largest Catholic civil-rights organization, was incorrect to characterize a video in a Washington, D.C., exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery as "anti-Christian." (You can read my Critic's Notebook here.) The Catholic League responded.

Here in its entirety is the unsigned e-mail I received:

"It is a sad commentary on gays that they cannot display gay art that is not homoerotic. But then again, if your sole identity is your sexuality, it makes sense. No matter, don’t ask the public, most of whom are Christians, to fund your pornography."

Oops: The show is privately funded.

But, more important, is art other than the video also being misrepresented? After the jump is a selection of work by major artists -- in addition to Georgia O'Keeffe, whose  painting "Goat Horn With Red" is shown here -- that is on view in “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture” and that the Catholic League apparently thinks will scare the horses.

Is the Catholic League's characterization of this art as "homoerotic" and "pornography" correct?

-- Christopher Knight



Thomas Eakins Walt Whitman

George Bellows River Front No. 1

MARSDEN HARTLEY Painting No. 47, Berlin

Romaine Brooks Self Portrait

Berenice Abbott Janet Flanner

Camouflage Self Portrait

Unfinished Painting

Photos: Georgia O'Keeffe, "Goat Horn With Red"; Thomas Eakins, "Walt Whitman"; George Bellows, "River Front No. 1"; Marsden Hartley, "Painting No. 47, Berlin"; Romaine Brooks, "Self-Portrait"; Berenice Abbott, "Janet Flanner"; Andy Warhol, "Self-Portrait With Camouflage"; Keith Haring, "Unfinished Painting." Credit: Associated Press / National Portrait Gallery




Comments () | Archives (9)

The Jesus covered in ants and any art that specifically challenges Christians is now just for poseurs. Want to really shake things up? Replace Jesus with Muhammad and see what kind of response you get. Probably more than some lame snarky press release.

Are you sure it is for real? Sounds retarded, even for them. Nude men does not make homosexual art, as Cezanne painted many great male bathers. Though your buddy Tyler Green likes his first and worst, the latter ones at ease and about the art, not the bodies as he seems to enjoy. Michelangelo used bodies for effect, not titilation. Mapplethorpe did both, he was a great artist, but also got caught up in his own issues. No Minor White? An even better photographer, but repressed and never did any homoerotic, even when doing male nudes.

There is an obvious difference, just like cheescake and hetero soft porn. But neither wing here can see that. Both have political points to make, that avoid art altogether. None of these above are all that, but OK as an exhibit considering the weak competition of todays academic mindset. I mean, Opie? Really? REALLY? LOL!

Catholics certainly know homo-eroticism when they see it. They practically invented it in their religious imagery, hiring gay artists in the 1500s to paint the unclothed male body. Thanks for that!

Seems fairly easy to use the words "gay" and "Catholic" interchangeably since the majority of both parties (not to mention the millions of gay Catholics out there) spend an inordinate amount of time blindly worshiping a guy wearing nothing but a thong and praying that he'll speak to them.

Someone has some serious mental health issues. Yeshua died one of the worst deaths known to man, simply because he wouldnt renounce his beliefs in a pacifist way of life. What has been done in his name isnt his problem, and gay or not, he sought peeace of mind body and soul before tehe trials of our earth. You got issues son.

We need to remember that 500 years ago the gay painter / sculptor Michelangelo created the gaudy, trashy uniforms of the Swiss Guard who protect the pope. Can anybody NOT look at them and see how gay they are? Five hundred years in the closet and they come out look like that???? The Church has NO right to complain about anything!!

A therapy patient once pointed out to me that (her) Catholic schooling was, in itself, an exercise in eroticism--does anyone (besides the patient and, at her mention, myself) remember 'the saint of the day'? Little stories accompanied by pictures of nearly naked men pierced/stabbed/burned/confronting lions and bears. She was, of course, right--and remember that the female saints were all 'offed' for defending their virginity (ok, ok, so Joan of Arc was an anomaly--an 'uppity witch' of the time). I learned the 'seven deadly sins' in second grade...it'll turn anyone on to anything! It is, after all, a sex-obsessed religion!

Christianity inherited sex-hating from the old patriarchal prudes who made up Genesis, and since Darwin, as a religion supposedly serving the downtrodden, has been little more than a sexual-regulation society. Like gay or pedophile Republican congressmen, Christianity imposes its hate on gays as cover for enjoying unpoliced and protected statutory rape behind closed doors. Even Pope Ratzinger has been nailed for shuffling pedophile priests around different parishes. A bunch of evil hypocrites who just can't stop.

The lie dies when you stop believing in it. Do humanity a favor. Stop contributing to its perpetuation. Throw it out the window onto your personal ashheap of history. Venerate instead this beseiged planet, the Paradise Now it can't wait to end.

Damn, someone is in need of a therapy session. Must be an artiste. That rant reveals more about you than the socalled evil you hate.
Some people need to learn history for what it is, the record of human events, not a pick and choose reinterpretation for ones own hateful agenda. Two wrongs dont make a right, especially when ignorant.
I have met far more good and loving Christians than artistes, who are wrapped up in their own self absorbed universes with self made rules all about their own tender sensibilities. True creative artists are always in short supply.


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