Art and Design | Michigan | Religion

Small Michigan Town Outraged By Statue: VIDEO

Blue Human Condition sculpture

Mark Chatterley's "Blue Human Condition" features seven genderless humanoids leaning against each other in various poses to represent interconnectedness and reliance. The citizens of Adrian, Michigan saw a gay sex orgy and demanded the sculpture's removal a week after it was installed. One person, apparently utterly unaware of how children's minds actually work, commented on the city website:

I believe it is very unfair and unkind to infer that those of us that [view the sculpture as sexual] have “dirty minds” and are “sexually repressed prudes”. If so, my children are “dirty minded, sexually repressed prudes” at the ripe age of 10, 11, and 13.

StrawcutterAnd of course no moral outrage is complete without the input of religious leaders. Local pastor Rick Strawcutter views the combination of the sculpture and the recent passing of an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance as a conspiracy by city officials to turn Adrian into Sodom.

The sculpture has since been moved to a less public part of the city, and Chatterly has received support from members of the community for creating his work. For his own part, Chatterly says that he makes his works for himself first, and that all of the accusations of lewdness show "what people are really thinking about."

For entertainment value, you can watch Pastor Strawcutter's personal video of the sculpture, complete with righteous indignation, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. They see what they want to see; they hear what they want to hear: they see gay sex because that's what they want to see, they hear Rush Limbaugh because that's what they want to hear. They're a small town with a small brain.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 6, 2014 7:09:12 PM

  2. No, that's actually a pretty poor choice for a public statue.

    Posted by: Alex | May 6, 2014 7:14:25 PM

  3. Yeah, I just don't like the statue. Sex has nothing to do with it.

    Posted by: Jerry | May 6, 2014 7:23:55 PM

  4. That thing is hideous. Peggy Hill could have done a better job.

    Posted by: LJC | May 6, 2014 7:28:16 PM

  5. "I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it." - Edith Sitwell

    Posted by: John in Iowa | May 6, 2014 7:35:19 PM

  6. I would really LOVE to see a post anti-gay manifesto depiction of what they would like the world they live in to look like.

    Are gays being put in concentration camps? Are they being torn apart in the streets by "good" Abrahamic lemmings? Do gays have no visibility whatever other than when when their decapitated, mutilated heads are put on pikes at busy intersections for "good" people of faith to take-in, like twisted art appreciation?

    Posted by: Deth | May 6, 2014 8:06:29 PM

  7. LOL! Some people are DEFENDING this statue?

    Um, 2 heads are IN other people's groins.


    Yeah, no. Anyone would think this is sexual.

    The concept sounds amazing and necessary ("leaning against each other in various poses to represent interconnectedness and reliance") but its execution needs some WORK, hunty.

    Posted by: redball | May 6, 2014 8:36:49 PM

  8. "If so, my children are “dirty minded, sexually repressed prudes” at the ripe age of 10, 11, and 13."

    No, madam, your children are going through puberty.

    Posted by: Rob | May 6, 2014 8:42:55 PM

  9. I grew up in Adrian, and although it IS a fairly conservative place, it's not the total cultural backwater that this story would lead one to believe.

    There are two colleges in Adrian, (Siena Heights University and Adrian College) It is home to one of the oldest continuously operating musical theaters in the mid west (The Croswell Opera House), there is a symphony orchestra, and the city has an above average school system. There are people there that appreciate art and culture and that are not homophobic assholes.

    It is unfortunate that a vocal minority of homophobes (Of which the Rev. Mr. Strawcutter has been the most vocal for decades) have obscured the real issue here: The sculpture is amateurish crap.

    Posted by: MJM | May 6, 2014 8:57:41 PM

  10. I don't know if I am more outraged that someone approved that as "artwork" or someone took the time to create it. It definitely IS NOT sexual, but it DOES look amateurish. Maybe it's better in person, but I doubt it. It looks like it was done by a committee of not so talented high school students.

    Posted by: Steve Talbert | May 6, 2014 9:16:19 PM

  11. To put this in perspective, the California city San Jose commissioned a statue of the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl for the corner of a remodeled park. Some local Christians sued, claiming the city was promoting a religion. The judge slapped down the Christians on the grounds that there were no more practicing Aztecs due to the Spanish having wiped them out several centuries ago, and hence it was merely a cultural exhibit.

    Meanwhile, a local art critic was not impressed with the statue's rather squat, coiled design and compared it to a "found object" left by a passing dog.

    Ouch. Image being the sculpture and reading that!

    Posted by: Bill | May 6, 2014 9:32:40 PM

  12. Sigh...I meant sculptor.

    Posted by: Bill | May 6, 2014 9:33:57 PM

  13. more Americans all up in a twist about sex and their own bodies, ho-hum.

    Posted by: sean | May 6, 2014 10:32:20 PM

  14. @MJM: Yes, Adrian is at least as advanced culturally as any place it's size and arguably more than Toledo, where I lied way too long. Strawcutter led a crusade against gays cruising in a wooded area which he claimed was within sight of a children's playground--about 3/4 mile away. I think there was investment in surveillance equipment, etc. I had hoped he was dead by now.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | May 6, 2014 10:52:20 PM

  15. Amending that last comment--I LIVED in Toledo. I lied from time to time, of course, but didn't make a habit of it.

    Posted by: gregorybrown | May 6, 2014 10:54:17 PM

  16. Yeah...we just want to turn Adrian into a Sodom/gay a time.


    ANY moment now.

    Posted by: zeddy | May 6, 2014 11:19:33 PM

  17. The figures in the sculpture all have their arms crossed. If this is a gay sex orgy, then I guess I've been doing it wrong.

    Posted by: David | May 6, 2014 11:25:10 PM

  18. This beautiful work of art perhaps belongs in an art museum
    where it can be appreciated. Nearness to the majority is the
    death of art. Hallmark art is maybe all Adrian, Michigan can
    appreciate. Congratulations to public officials who misjudged
    their small town population for enjoying art.

    Posted by: Charles WmWell | May 6, 2014 11:29:30 PM

  19. I'm sure there are statues that actually depict gay sex that are more tasteful than that one.

    Posted by: Garst | May 6, 2014 11:38:18 PM

  20. The comments on this page and the comments of many in that town (and especially the comments in the video) are a testament to the success of that sculpture. Art is supposed to force an emotion (and furthermore an opinion). If people couldn't care less about the sculpture then it would be bad art. But some people love it, some like it, some hate it. Success!

    Posted by: mike | May 7, 2014 3:46:02 AM

  21. A dirty mind is a wonderful thing to waste.

    Posted by: Sean Maloney | May 7, 2014 6:59:07 AM

  22. If you look at his body of work, study what all the pieces are like, etc. you see that this sculpture is in line with the rest of what he creates and is not that unusual.

    That said, I'm actually surprised that this guy was awarded a small-town Michigan commission at all, given that these figures don't have clothing on.

    Posted by: Johnny | May 7, 2014 9:47:25 AM

  23. I don't want to side with the censor art folks, but when all first saw this, before I read the headline, I literally thought, "hey, look at that orgy sculpture."

    Posted by: Chris | May 7, 2014 10:40:04 AM

  24. I'm from Kalamazoo, MI. There is a art deco fountain in Bronson Park of a pioneer and an indian that is positioned as such that it looks like the Indian is going down on the Pioneer. You can just guess that Bronson Park was a major cruising area in the 70's.

    Posted by: woodroad34 | May 7, 2014 1:13:15 PM

  25. Stupid really is as stupid does.

    Posted by: Armando | May 7, 2014 10:51:47 PM

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