The Washington Post simply cannot stop putting protesters of the removal of an ants-on-Jesus video on the front page of the Style section. Once again in Friday's paper, art critic Blake Gopnik is publicizing gay artist A.A. Bronson's request that his huge color photo of his skeletal lover Felix Partz in his bed hours after he died in 1994 be removed from the exhibit:
"I had resisted taking this step, hoping that some reconciliation could be reached regarding the censorship of the David Wojnarowicz video," Bronson wrote, "but it is clear that this is not coming anytime soon. As an artist who saw firsthand the tremendous agony and pain that so many of my generation lived through, and died with, I cannot take the decision of the Smithsonian lightly. To edit queer history in this way is hurtful and disrespectful."
The part in bold type was also a pull quote in large letters accompanying the story. Gopnik called Bronson "a pioneer of gay-themed contemporary art" and oozed "The photo is one of the exhibition's linchpin works, which this writer praised as a 'harrowing, almost unbearable image' in a review of 'Hide/Seek.'"
Liberal newspapers may claim that taxpayer-funded art galleries should take “public sensitivities” into account, but in reality, they don’t want members of Congress actually representing the insulted public by speaking out against anti-Christian exhibits.
Friday’s Washington Post led their editorial page with the headline “The censors arrive: Do Republicans really want to ride into power with a burst of small-minded intolerance?” That’s funny: Christians might find the “small-minded intolerance” coming from artists who think that modern-day Christianity is an oppressive, Jesus-betraying force – as represented by ants crawling all over Jesus on a crucifix. Here’s the key passage:
Public sensibilities must be taken into account when taxpayer funds are in play, but the use of public dollars does not give lawmakers the right to micromanage or censor displays. Nor should the occasional dust-up be justification for threatened retribution against these valuable national assets. We hope Mr. Cantor's threats prompt many additional Washingtonians to visit the exhibit and judge for themselves.
"Look, if you like depictions of sadomasochism... if you like homoerotic art.... if you're into religious bigotry... if you like that, fine," but don't expect taxpayers to subsidize such an exhibit at a Smithsonian museum, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell argued in a debate segment on last night's edition of "John King USA" on CNN.
The Media Research Center (MRC) founder and president appeared opposite Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik, who defended the controversial art display "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" featured at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.
Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik is hopping mad that the National Portrait Gallery pulled a video from its "Hide/Seek" exhibit on homosexual imagery, insisting: "Now the NPG, and the Smithsonian Institution it is part of, look set to come off as cowards." Gopnik insisted the ant-covered Jesus in the video was inconsequential, and that if he played censor, he'd keep the insect-covered Christ and scrap the Norman Rockwell:
Norman Rockwell would get the boot, too, if I believed in pulling everything that I'm offended by: I can't stand the view of America that he presents, which I feel insults a huge number of us non-mainstream folks. But I didn't call for the Smithsonian American Art Museum to pull the Rockwell show that runs through Jan. 2, just down the hall from "Hide/Seek." Rockwell and his admirers got to have their say, and his detractors, including me, got to rant about how much they hated his art. Censorship would have prevented that discussion, and that's why we don't allow it.
Artist Norman Rockwell's thought crime seems to be that he wasn't a kneejerk liberal. And for that, he has earned an angry leftwing rant from Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik who claimed that Rockwell lacked "courage" for not glorifying leftwing causes. Rockwell's "Four Freedoms" series? It disgusts Gopnik because it "doesn't invoke a communist printing his pamphlets or an atheist on a soapbox." So if Gopnik can't stand the popular Norman Rockwell, just what kind of art does he like? You can find out below the fold but a warning: please be sure you are not consuming liquids while viewing an example of Gopnik art or you risk spewing it over your computer monitor when you burst out laughing.
However, before we take a look at Gopnik's laughable taste in art, let us join him in mid-rant as he tells us how much he absolutely hates Norman Rockwell:
Norman Rockwell is often championed as the great painter of American virtues. Yet the one virtue most nearly absent from his work is courage. He doesn't challenge any of us, or himself, to think new thoughts or try new acts or look with fresh eyes. From the docile realism of his style to the received ideas of his subjects, Rockwell reliably keeps us right in the middle of our comfort zone.
Adding to Brent Baker’s piece on how AP gushed over the Obamas’ taste in picking art for the White House, Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik also tried to praise the "discerning eye" of the Obamas in Wednesday’s Style section, but Gopnik’s taste for artistic "affirmative action" came through very clearly:
They seem to redress past imbalances in the nation's sense of its own art....But there are still only six works by women, vs. 41 by men. And there are no works at all by Latinos. (A work by the deceased Cuban American artist Félix González-Torres would have filled the gap perfectly, and added a nod to the country's gay culture. The Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum has one that could have been borrowed.)
Gopnik concluded the piece by complaining that Obama was promoting "falsely naive" art that maligns black people, even in the titles of the paintings: