It’s cliché. Someone calls himself an ‘artist’ because he uses widely offensive material to falsely generate ill-gotten buzz – this time by scribbling a sacrilegious cartoon lithograph that clearly depicts Jesus Christ in a gay sex act.
Not until the so-called artwork was destroyed by a crowbar-wielding visitor at taxpayer-funded Loveland Museum Gallery (CO) did self-proclaimed artist and Stanford professor, Enrique Chagoya, acquire the controversial attention artists crave.
Enter the Resurrection Fellowship Church of Loveland, Colorado.
Jonathan Wiggins, Head Pastor of the 2,000-member congregation (Denver Post reports 1,400-member) contacted Chagoya at the height of the national controversy to commission a ‘loving, peaceful portrait of Jesus’ for his church.
Screen capture of ‘harmless’ Jonathan and Amy Wiggins. ‘Christian’ leaders of Resurrection Fellowship Church pulling in folks from all over Northern Colorado to teach the importance of supporting those who peddle the highest forms of blasphemy.
Chagoya said, “People who know me and are familiar with my work, and many practicing Catholics among them, have been very supportive.” He added, “I really appreciate the generous openness of Pastor Wiggins, since it made me feel there is hope in the world. We were touched by our mutual respect, and he invited me to do the portrait.”
How diabolical was Chagoya’s pièce de résistance? Let’s play fair and hear from someone outside of Resurrection Fellowship Church who also ‘respects’ Chagoya and tolerates provocative, irreligious expression.
Despicable. And to parrot Mark Levin, “There, I said it!”
Of course, had Chagoya sketched Mohammad in place of Jesus, arguably he would have captured Obama’s full attention and received a warm-fuzzy visit from FBI agents begging him to halt print production. Associated Press would have killed the story altogether, then issued a directive to mainstream media banning any further detailed coverage. The cartoonish lithography would have never entered a taxpayer-funded institution and if it had, Kathleen Folden, the lady from Montana who destroyed Chagoya’s, ‘The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals’ would be a hero.
UPDATE 10.20.2010: Video posted of Jonathan Wiggins defending Chagoya, his decision, and explaining why gay Jesus cartoons ‘motivate’ him. Upon viewing the impious homosexual/transvestite Jesus drawing online, Pastor Jonathan ‘wanted to show [his church] love through partying instead of protesting [against the museum].’ He ‘respects people who have the courage of their convictions [like Chagoya?] and take action.’ Jonathan states his ‘first dialog with a Stanford professor’ made him feel like ‘I [Jonathan] was somebody.’ Then told Chagoya ‘if you ever visit Northern Colorado, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d [Jonathan] be honored to meet you.’
UPDATE 10.23.2010: Yesterday, Enrique Chagoya started working on the new painting that will depict the face of Christ. Pastor Wiggins wrote in an email to Chagoya, “Would you offer your artistic ability and compose an image of Christ representing love and understanding, something precious? I think the contrast of this with your previous work might give clearer context to many in the Christian community.”
Here’s your chance to show the Loveland church, museum and cultural services how much you ‘appreciate’ them:
Loveland Museum Gallery and Loveland Cultural Services
Director of Cultural Services, Susan Ison
503 North Lincoln Ave.
Loveland, CO 80537