- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 17, 2001

The mayor of New York City is searching for a way to prevent museums from displaying vulgar, tasteless, Christian-bashing artwork. The latest so-called masterpiece displayed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art features a nude female black Jesus at the Last Supper. The mayor feels New York City tax dollars shouldn't be used to support an institution that can't seem to distinguish the difference between art and a hole in the ground. He lost that battle, but is now setting up a decency commission to judge the morality of tax-funded art.

You can imagine what would happen if the museum hung a painting of Martin Luther King Jr. dressed as Satan and called it the “Luther We All Know and Love.” This isn't the first time the Brooklyn Museum has crossed the good taste line. They are the same people who gave us the Virgin Mary covered with elephant dung. There can be only one reason for displaying this trash, and it is not because of the artistic content.

The Brooklyn Museum simply wants to attract attention to the museum and could care less what they have to do to get noticed. I imagine they have inspired countless starving artists to work animal excrement into their paintings, and if the artists succeed in creating something truly disgusting, they might get noticed by the Brooklyn curator. The judge who determined that the city should continue to fund this garbage art must be on about the same cultural level as the so-called artist.

The freedom of speech zealots will jump on any attempt to bring decency into the world of art. We have a government that can't seem to determine what is pornography and what isn't. How can we possibly determine what is decent and deserves to be supported by the taxpayer and what should be categorized as tasteless trash? If beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, we should probably determine how the beholders that run our museums feel about trash art before we hire them.

Just last week, another Catholic-basher created a painting of the Virgin Mary wearing a bikini. Sensationalism seems to be taking over where art left off. Who would go out of their way to see these things? Museums end up turning more people off than on. Once the curious morons visit after the media brings the creation to the public's attention, I'm sure attendance declines. Can you imagine taking your child to the museum and pointing out how creative the artist was in using dung on the canvas?

All the Brooklyn Museum of Art has done is give people another reason not to go to Brooklyn when there are already enough reasons. I doubt that the decency commission will have any more success than the one that was intended to raise standards in the movie and television industries. Appealing to the baser instincts of the public seems to work. Going to the museum to look at “Whistler's Mother” is a thing of the past. If we are going to hang tasteless art in our museums, hang it in the restrooms where it belongs.

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