Dartboard Jesus

The latest example of religious-themed art that's stirring up controversy — a "dartboard Jesus." It was on display at the Rutgers University library, as part of an exhibit of student art, but was taken down recently because, according to campus officials, "it did not meet Rutgers University Libraries policy, which requires art exhibitions and their pieces to be based on university events, curricular offerings and topics of interest to the university community." In other words, it became too controversial.

It reminds me of the Crucified Chicken controversy from several years ago.

More: NJ.com
     Posted By: Alex - Tue Apr 26, 2016
     Category: Art | Religion

Some misguided 'artists' seem to think anything they throw together is art as long as it is offensive to others, especially if it is anti religion. I wonder how the art community would accept a work of art depicting a number of well known atheists in a pit of fire. The flipside of the offensive coin as it were,
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/26/16 at 11:07 AM
@Patty: Sounds like a plan, I'm in.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/26/16 at 11:55 AM
Me, too, Patty. It's so obvious when you see these "art" works where some person is only trying to make his/her name by coming up with something outrageous to the most people.
Posted by Virtual on 04/26/16 at 12:55 PM
Patty, a significant percentage of Christian "art" through the centuries (and I added the quotes because art is always in the eye of the beholder) has involved the supposed tortures awaiting the non-believer. That's one way you threaten folks into toeing your theological line.

And what if the artist is himself an ardent Christian, and created this piece to protest how he believes modern culture disrespects Christianity? Would that point of view make it more acceptable?
Posted by Frank on 04/26/16 at 01:41 PM
An artist today, not historical artworks. No, the reason for the the work makes little difference to those it offends.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/26/16 at 05:27 PM
Art contains its meaning and communicates it clearly. If you need to supply an essay explaining motivations, background, and desired effect, then it isn't actually art.

All this communicates is how vulgar the 'artist' is.
Posted by Phideaux on 04/26/16 at 08:31 PM
Thank you Phideaux for voicing a far more elegant response than I could.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/26/16 at 10:20 PM
Wonder how long artwork denigrating blacks, women or homosexuals would have stayed up?
Posted by RobK on 04/27/16 at 11:33 AM
So if I understand Phideaux correctly: if a work can be interpreted more than one in way. it can't be art. Sounds kind of stultifying.
Posted by Frank on 04/27/16 at 12:27 PM
'Interpreting art' is intellectual pretension. "This artwork doesn't speak to you? Well, you must be too stupid to understand it represents how bread-like pastries in motion simultaneously fuels the basic human desires to take wing and to mate while presenting a situation so challenging that it borders on being impossible. The artist is giving us insight into basic human cruelty as oft expressed by women uninterested in a male's attempt to court her. How can you not see that?"

Whenever someone views a work of art, they're bringing a universe of experience, knowledge, and prejudices which dictate what the artwork means to them. Since no two people bring exactly the same universe to their viewings, there will naturally be variations in the artwork's affect, but the basic concept it is expressing will be understood by the majority of people.
Posted by Phideaux on 04/27/16 at 01:37 PM
So art by definition is a matter of majority rule? Again -- stultifying.

Can we go back to the discussion about this piece, as opposed to your humorous flight of fancy? I don't know the artist. I don't know his intentions or his religious beliefs. Maybe, as you assume, this is just an adolescent twit trying to see how many people he can make fly off the handle. (In which case he probably considers you a success story.)

But I can just as easily see it as a cry of pain by a deeply religious person, horrified by certain politicians (or others) who treat religion like some sort of cheap tactic -- co-opting the message of the teacher from Nazareth strictly for personal gain.

So as I say, I don't know for certain. I just find it stimulating to look at both sides, instead of leaping to a conclusion, and then claiming it is the only valid conclusion possible.
Posted by Frank on 04/27/16 at 02:43 PM
Great art? The wonder and endless diversity of nature in all its forms.
Posted by Gator Guy on 04/29/16 at 07:11 PM
That, my dear, is very true.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 04/29/16 at 09:03 PM
What if it were Mohammed?

And so. It's not art at all, it's just meant to offend those unlikely to retaliate with violence.
Posted by Miles on 05/27/16 at 04:13 PM
What if it were Mohammed?

Then ask yourself: What would Jesus do? And then don't throw the darts.
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/29/16 at 10:12 PM
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