The Gayest Painting of Our Time?

Gayweddingcruise

In my online travels I ran across this kitschy take on Noah's Ark yesterday on Flickr and was momentarily stunned by the gayness of it all. 'Noah's Gay Wedding Cruise', which artist Paul Richmond created for a gallery show called “Sweet & Low: Optimism in a Pessimistic Age” at Gallery Arcane in San Francisco, features an iconic cast of characters — Ellen & Portia, Rosie and Kelli, Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar, Bert and Ernie, Elton John and David Furnish as well as penguins and assorted other homo fauna.

However, I was much more amused by the range of drowning sinners bobbing about in the flood: a sopped Ann Coulter, Larry Craig clinging to a toilet, Sally Kern, Fred Phelps, and Kenneth Starr. That's Pat Boone's guitar. A 'Yes on 8' supporter.

As art it's not really up my alley, but I could certainly appreciate the message.

Drowningsinners

Comments

  1. DaveO says

    Range in sinners? There is no range here. There’s no diversity. THey’re all Republican Americans. Where’s Mahmoud “no gays in Iran (except the ones we hang)” Ahmedinejad? Where’s the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as “Sticking it wherever” Prince?

  2. says

    Totally disrespectfull of the Jewish faith (Noah’s Ark is from the Jewish Scriptures, Book of Genesis) who have not, as a faith, been part of the American persecution of Gays and Lesbians. It’s quite insulting, actually. But the offense is against the Lord, whom the painter will have to explain himself to. It is sickening that there are so many of us evangelical Christians who are pro-gay, who have stood side by side wit the gay community in their demand for the protection of their rights, and yet we now have to deal with persecution from that same gay community because of the hate of a vocal minority. If you think that Christianity as a whole in America resembles anything you see on the 700 Club or other TV preachers, you have a horrible and totally incorrect view of Christianity. The Bible is 100% progay. But since you’d rather listen to the hate speach of mortal biased men rather than the pure and loving acceptance of God’s Holy Word, I guess you’ll just remain in ignorance and be guilty of the same persecution you charge innumerable innocent Christians with, who have loved youith a true, supportive and honest heart. – Rev. Jim Cunningham, King James Bible Ministries, http://www.GayChristianSurvivors.com

  3. AntBee says

    This is supposed to be something for us to find amusing and have a bit of fun with, yet here we are with some people finding fault and not being able to find some satisfaction, no matter the good intentions. Geesh! Gay people irk the hell outta me sometimes!

  4. TANK says

    How, specifically, is it disrespectful of Judaism, Jim? Can you name why other than it involves noah’s ark and same sex relationships?

    Right, christianity and the bible are 100% progay, we just don’t get it, huh? Whenever an evangelical or mormon compares us to terrorists, or inveighs against us as sinners…we’re just missing the big picture. Oy…you’re a loon.

  5. anon says

    Does it come in velvet?

    If Christians were so pro-gay, the prop 8 would not have passed, along with all the other marriage bans over the years, among other things.

  6. John in San Jose says

    Mr. Cunningham: I’m not sure how the painting is disrepectful of the Jewish faith. It’s “laying blame” (mostly) on close-minded, right-wing Christians and ultra-conservatives (the drowing people). It doesn’t seem to say much, positive or negative, about Judaism or Christianity in general.

    I’m a life-long Christian. I didn’t just convert in the last week or month or year or decade. People like you (and me and every other moderate Christian) certainly realize that Christ’s message is being subverted by right-wing, Christian zealots/extremists (the point of the painting). So rather than cast blame and accusations at people who are railing against that subversion, you should channel your energies toward countering the extremists and fundamentalists. They are the people that Christ railed against — the modern-day equivalent of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

  7. KJ says

    Yeah, uh, Jim? That’s not a vocal minority. That’s a broadly supported leadership expressing the views of their membership. It’s nice that so many people are trying to be good christians, and it’s great when they do it through affirming congregations. However, many continue to sit in pews dominated by hate. They sit in the pews and support the hate mongers, even if they supposedly don’t share those hateful beliefs. Those are the folks that don’t get a pass from me. As for how this is offensive to Jews, I admit to completely missing your point. But sincere thanks for not being a gay catholic.

  8. KPC says

    There is no such thing as god. Good grief, I am so sick of the madness of mankind and utterly at a loss at the need to create this fantasy and how much of our time and emotional energy is caught up in it. Amazing.

  9. Sara J says

    This is sick. Im annoyed enough having to see the Academy Awards distastefully turned into a hateful anti Prop 8 rally by Sean Peen (typo and I’m keeping it) and the director of Milk who should have just gracefully accepted his award and shut up. Sometimes when you say less you say more. The people of California had a right to vote yay or nay, and the majority voted for Prop 8. Why be a bunch of brats and pervert a biblical story as well? This kind of behavior makes me really resent gay activists. THIS IS NOT HELPING YOUR CAUSE. If you really feel that you are in the right with this issue, and want to convince the rest of us, you need to think of more graceful and tactful ways of getting your point across.

  10. Emma says

    Wow, Sara J:

    Way to plagiarize the Dlisted dude! That is not at all embarrassing.

    Also, I don’t need “convincing.” This is not a “cause,” as such, characterized by ethical ambiguity. It’s a clear-cut example of ignorant and small-minded people doing the wrong thing because they can. Happens all the time. Marriage bans are part of the traditional armory of militant American prejudice, and always have been. Alabama just decided to cross out the ‘no interracial marriage’ clause in their state constitution in 2000; when racial separation was still a hot-button issue in the 1960s, Christian racists used the Bible to justify the moral correctness of that particular avenue of discrimination, too. Christians use the Bible for a lot of bad things, so why can’t this dude use it for something good?

    It’s not as though it’s sacred. Or Christians wouldn’t get to trot scenes from it out on their own licensed merchandise. Am I right?

  11. Sara J Is a Twat says

    Not to mention that her lame-ass little rant can’t even get the role of the person who won the Academy Award for _Milk_ correct.

    And anybody who asserts that the majority has a “right” to band together and take away the rights of a minority is just a shallow little reprehensible bitch who needs to be taken out back.

    Was that “graceful and tactful”?

  12. nic says

    @JIM CUNNINGHAM,

    the ‘Arc’ story is not peculiar to the Jews — see “Gilgamesh legend” from ancient Mesopotamia and other ‘great flood’ stories that predate it.

    here lies the folly of self-righteous, religious fulmination. the default position, disregarding history and logic, is, “i know i’m right, because it says so in the bible.” but, that stance is a classic example of the logical fallacy of begging the question. for your premise to work, we must all agree to accept the bible as fact, instead of accepting that it is the hokum, if not hogwash, of old jewish patriarchs who wanted to impose their misogyny on the world within their purview.

    be that as it may, i love the painting. it’s kind of fancifully Benton-esque — an apt response to that bitter homophobe. i would like a print of it.

  13. nic says

    @JIM CUNNINGHAM,

    the ‘Arc’ story is not peculiar to the Jews — see “Gilgamesh legend” from ancient Mesopotamia and other ‘great flood’ stories that predate it.

    here lies the folly of self-righteous, religious fulmination. the default position, disregarding history and logic, is, “i know i’m right, because it says so in the bible.” but, that stance is a classic example of the logical fallacy of begging the question. for your premise to work, we must all agree to accept the bible as fact, instead of accepting that it is the hokum of old jewish patriarchs who wanted to impose their misogyny on the world within their purview.

    be that as it may, i love the painting. it’s kind of fancifully Benton-esque — an apt response to that bitter homophobe. i would like a print of it.

  14. marymary says

    RCunningham: Looks like another Christian spouting biblical nonsense in order to belittle and judge another person because YOU believe they are wrong and you are right. And you call Atheists arrogant…

  15. Andalusian Dog says

    @ JIM CUNNINGHAM:

    As with the above comments, I must respectfully disagree with your view that this painting is anti-Scripture. As with the millions of believers who have understood the Noah story and applied its lessons to their own lives as a way to make sense of contemporary situations, this painting appears to me to be a recasting of the story as a metaphor for survival, hope, and triumph of a persecuted people over the forces of evil in the majority. The painting was neither attempting to be “historically” accurate (in the Biblical framework of history) nor theologically correct.

    At the same time, as indicated through the title of the exhibition, it was an expression of camp: as a metaphorical re-reading of the Noah story, it attempts to subvert the traditional relations between the story’s readers and the events and characters within it. In Western art history, historical and religious painting, for example, is replete with examples of this kind of reimagining, where current rulers or artistic patrons are depicted as other figures. Off the top of my head, examples include donor portraits in French medieval Books of Hours and Gospel manuscripts, where the patron is depicted as Christ or as another saint; and (not in painting), the mosaics on the ceiling of St. Mary’s of the Admiral in Palermo, where the Norman king Roger II (the church’s patron) is receiving a crown from Christ, while he himself facially resembles Christ. Farther back, Roman emperors were depicted as gods in sculpture.

    Artistic expressions of camp, such as this painting, engage in the sames kinds of rearrangements and subversions of relations between the expected and unexpected, and usually do so 1) through some attempt at humor, and 2) usually with a queer subtext. As several cultural historians have indicated, such implicit references, which traditionally would only be understood or appreciated by a queer audience, were a form of language (visual, written or otherwise) around which a gay community could form, usually in the face of a hostile, heteronormative society.

    Thus, while gay people over the centuries have been persecuted, undermined, scrutinized, feretted out, jailed, beaten, and killed in some instances, a community of solidarity has been formed around a unique kind of humor and communication, one rich in references to the cultural past of the macrosociety to which this sub-community belonged, and yet which specifically addressed the needs, hopes and aspirations of gay people in discrete moments and places.

    To cast aside the continuation of this tradition and its successes in light of the hardships that gays have historically encountered — and all this especially while these needs, hopes, and aspirations were expressed with humor and joy in the face of truly horrible circumstances — is at best unsympathetic, and dare I say at worst un-Christian.

    I recommend looking beyond the confines of the Scriptural tradition and possible negative readings of this painting to the living, breathing examples of grace, with which the gay community is blessed.

  16. Cole RVS says

    I love this painting. First, it depicts, although a bit skewed in favor of the LBGT community, my favorite story from the Bible, and this time, its even funnier. I got laugh out of it, did you?
    Just remember people, if you justify any part of the bible in your favor, those who use it against you are also justifying it for their own selfish gains.

    p.s. at 7 billion people on the world, doesn’t it make you happy to think a few of us aren’t going to reproduce? This is the times of Octo-mom.

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