Thursday, October 7, 2010

"The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals"

Montana Woman Destroys Controversial Art. 

[Loveland, Colorado] The woman has been identified as 56-year-old Kathleen Folden - a truck driver from Kalispell, Montana.   One of the frantic museum curators told me she smuggled a crowbar into the museum wrapped in her sweater.  The panel on the lower right of the series pictured below was the piece that moved her to vandalism. Entitled - "The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals" the piece was composed by Enrique Chagoya while master print maker Bud Shark produced this iteration. Though the damaged art was removed by police there are many other pieces still on display at the Gallery Museum on the North West Corner of Lincoln and 5th Street in Loveland.  Many prints are arranged in three dimensions and are extremely engaging.  My favorite is a piece entitled "Frontier Justice."


Exhibit A:  The display after Kathleen Folden made her "modification."

When asked by Fox News about  the vandalism of his art Enrique Chagoya responded eloquently.
"Should we as artists, or any free-thinking people, have to be subjected to fear of violent attacks for expressing our sincere concerns? I made a collage with a comic book and an illustration of a religious icon to express the corruption of something precious and spiritual.
There is no nudity, or genitals, or explicit sexual contact shown in the image. There is a dressed woman, a religious icon's head, a man showing his tongue, and a skull of a Pope in the upper right corner of the controversial page. I did not make a picture of Christ. I used symbols as one would use words in a sentence to critique corruption of the sacred by religious institutions."




Loveland Mayor Cecil Gutierrez stands with a local police officer in the lobby of the Museum Gallery. He had a nervous look on his face as he texted frantically.  For me it was a happy introduction to this place there is an amazing sculpture mimicking Picasso's tormented "Guernica"  made from old car hoods in the lobby as well. I would not have been aware of the deep significance of Guernica were it not my philosophical experience discussing this piece while blogging about the World Science Festival in New York City this past June.



I purchased a free-expression souvenir!

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am Jewish so I am not concern about the Christian religion aspect here. My comment is: I think that in normal circumstences, an act like the one Kathleen Folden made is very dangerous for the peace of society since if approved would open the door for anybody, even such people with no purity of purpose like Kathleen Folden's, could take matters in their own hands and create chaos and anarchie.

From the other side, society has gone beserk. Nowadays, in the name of art or freedom of speech or any other institutional approved behaviour, evrything is permitted. There are no repect for other people and surely not for their deep believes. So this act is welcome to show how far moral ethics have deteriorated. It should give food for thoughts to our leaders and educators. In this aspect I welcome Ms Kathleen Folden act

Kenneth Gray said...

I do not like the Catholic Church and all its hypocrisy.

That being said, ask yourself, is it okay to display a painting of the Dalai Lama getting a blowjob while turning a prayer wheel?
Or in light of John Lennon's recent birthday, how about a painting of him shitting on a representation of Yoko Ono? Whose sacred cow is being served on the sesame seed buns? A lot may depend on whose icons are being toppled to assess your level of tolerance.

Anonymous said...

There isn't one THING that justifies or allows for violence in the name of childish weak souled morals demanding fake pure images or icons to be glorified by all. If your faith is so pathetic and your god so weak as to need you a mortal to defend it by smashing silly images because it can't hold it's own in respectability and glory then it needn't be worshiped or followed at all accept by the soulless sheep it already has.

Anonymous said...

This one "THING" was a symbol to someone. It obviously means nothing to you. But suppose someone had a picture of your family member, or something that means something to you, and they portrayed it in a manner you did not like. How would your views change then? If they really wouldn't change, then good for you; you are impartial. You also let people shit on what you hold dear. Or worse you hold nothing dear. I'm athiest.

Anonymous said...

thanks crazy lady, if not for you i would have never heard of this piece of art

Travis said...

To the first commenter: There is no right of respect. No one has to respect other people or their beliefs. I would say Ms. Folden's act is what shows a sad lack of morals, where one person decides they feel slighted and takes it upon themselves to silence speech they do not like. A person who only wants freedom for their own ideas.

Kenneth Gray,
I do not know about the author of this post but I for one would not complain if someone displayed a painting of the Dalai Lama getting a blowjob. Sure, many people are hypocrites, they have sacred cows and would only stand up for this type of freedom if it does not attack their own beliefs but they would be wrong and should then be called out for it.

Tom Paine's Ghost said...

Thanks to all who are commenting.
Travis you said "I do not know about the author of this post but I for one would not complain if someone displayed a painting of the Dalai Lama getting a blowjob."
now you know -> neither would I!
I find it incredibly funny and sad that all the people complaining about this piece (FAUX news correspondents especially) have apparently not even looked at the entire piece with their own two eyes but are just going off of hearsay. In their report that aired before the art was attacked they bemoaned the piece saying - I wonder what would have happened to the art were it Mohammed depicted in a sex act?
Well funny they should say this. Look at the bottom row of panels. You see Mohammed knelt and praying at the foot of a bed where two pigs in bikinis are dancing. I'm pretty sure this means Chagoya is an equal opportunity blasphemer and probably will be called an artistic genius for this!

richard said...

Even though the "perp" Kathleen Folden probably intended this as a hate crime, I'll bet the local DA whimps out and charges her with something minor. The artist should go after her in civil court as the Southern poverty law center did to the KKK. Its not the money but the principle of a free speech violation.

Richard, Costa Rica

Anonymous said...

Art is about freedom of ideas, but this particular piece is incredibly offensive to many people of many beliefs and cultures. Sell it privately, display it in a private gallery, fine, who cares? But don't display it on public soil, it's vile and inappropriate for children.

Tom Paine's Ghost said...

"Art is about freedom of ideas, but this particular piece is incredibly offensive to many people of many beliefs and cultures."

No group should be able to invoke the sacred to shelter themselves from criticism. This piece is blasting open the conversation about homosexuality and pedophilia among the catholic clergy and should by all means be on display to the public!

If nothing offensive were ever uttered in public we wouldn't have to protect freedom of speech or press!

Anonymous said...

"No group should be able to invoke the sacred to shelter themselves from criticism. This piece is blasting open the conversation about homosexuality and pedophilia among the catholic clergy and should by all means be on display to the public!

If nothing offensive were ever uttered in public we wouldn't have to protect freedom of speech or press!"


Just because you have the freedom to do something doesn't make it ethical. I believe respecting what others hold dear is the only way to find peace (even if I do not share the same belief system). You obviously hold freedom above reverence, and that is your choice.

Tom Paine's Ghost said...

What are the operating ethical principles at work in the concept of reverence?

To me reverence is a cloaked command to obey. In the spirit of the one ethic "Do unto others as you would have done onto you" I would choose to have my neighbors be open and honest with me always and not have conversation hindered by fear of offending me or anyone. This is my choice indeed. I like your respect of choice. Thank you for comment. I hope you continue to engage in conversation.

Anonymous said...

You know what? I think it was OBNOXIOUSLY wrong of her to do such a thing. Yes it maybe 'smut' or in fat crazy lady's words, 'FILTH FILTH FILTH!!' (LOL) But come on, he worked hard on that whole piece. And for some stupid wench to come all the way out here (I live in CO) It is sheer insanity. We are FREE to draw, paint, say what we want. But to destroy someone else's work, because 'its wrong' In your eyes, that its self is Wrong. She is a stupid cow, who WILL go to hell. Wanna know why? Cause she has Zero respect. Oh Yea R-E-S-P-E-C-T! People holding signs, that is fine, express yourself. But to go in, and intentionally destroy something like that, is not only wrong, it shows just how narrow minded people are these days, and how Religion is corrupt, and brainwashing everyone. JESUS HAD SEX, GET OVER IT!

Anonymous said...

What is art? Well I believe art is a way people express themselves, but I believe it needs to be done respectfully. In this piece of work it depicts Jesus Christ in a disrespectful way. This is not who Jesus is. I believe something like this shouldn't be in a museum. Obviously Kathleen didn't want it in the museum either, but the way she went about expressing her opinion was completely wrong. The Bible says that we must speak the truth in love. When she destroyed this piece of work NO ONE would see that as loving. Jesus, the God she destroyed this painting for, told us to love so people would come to Him. There is no way that her acts will bring people to Christ, it will just push them farther from Him.