Some may call it art, but others are are outraged and declaring it blasphemous.
A Loveland, Co., public art museum has sparked a heated debate among the town's residents after highlighting an exhibit which seems to feature Jesus Christ in a tawdry sex act.
The controversial piece is part of a 10-artist exhibit called, “The Legend of Bud Shark and His Indelible Ink.” The lithograph showing the son of God engaged in a sexual act is called, “The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals,” and was created by Stanford University professor Enrique Chagoya.
“It is visual profanity,” said art gallery owner Linda King, in an interview with the Loveland Reporter-Herald. “It disgraces the God of all creation.”
Donna Rice, a member of the Loveland City Council, told the Denver Post that the "taxpayer-supporter, public museum" was meant to be family-friendly. "This is not something the community can be proud of," she says.
Though many protestors hoped the city council would cut off funds to the museum over the issue, the city's attorney has indicated that a painting of Christ engaged in oral sex "does not meet the criteria of public obscenity."
The artist has defended his work, claiming to be surprised by the public's outcry. “My intentions are not to offend anybody,” Chagoya told the Associated Press. “The main intention of my work is to express my personal concerns about religious institutions, not about the actual religious beliefs, which I respect.”
Nearby Denver seems to boast more supporters of the art, including Carol Ware told the Post she thought the work was "provocative and thought-provoking."
But many local Christians say the museum exhibit is nothing more than taxpayer-funded pornography that defiles Christ and their religion. “We don’t think our savior should be put in those kind of poses,” Steven Gregory told Fox-Denver. “I love art, but this isn’t art.”
To view the lithograph, click here.