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Shocker: Liberals are intolerant!

This story, worth your time to read in its entirety, has been making its way around the conservative blogosphere:

You don't have to be an art critic to see something tasteless going on at Pratt Institute. Since 1887, this venerable New York institution has been dedicated to educating "artists and creative professionals to be responsible contributors to society." Yet teachers and administrators at Pratt have been nothing but irresponsible in their recent dealings with a fifth-year drawing student named Steve DeQuattro.

... As part of his recent work, Mr. DeQuattro has designed a cereal-box-like sculpture that he calls, ironically, "Sustainable Liberalism in a Box". He has developed a piece that takes the ubiquitous Apple iPod ad campaign to address abortion. He has designed a sobering five-foot-wide mural that tracks the Democratic Party's record on race, from Jefferson's slave-holding days up through the racially charged speeches of Senator Robert Byrd and Vice President Joe Biden.

As a senior in the school, Mr. DeQuattro has been working on this art in preparation for a group show for Pratt's graduating students, which is scheduled to open on April 23. While his faculty advisor has been supporting him, his peers have not. Mr. DeQuattro says they recently wrote a letter to his professors, calling his work "offensive" and complaining about exhibiting alongside him. Last week, the chair of the fine arts department stepped in to prevent Mr. DeQuattro's participation alongside the other students in the group show--an unprecedented move in the history of the department, says Mr. DeQuattro, despite the fact that none of his work is pornographic, libelous, or in violation of the laws of free speech. Mr. DeQuattro's advisor did not return a request for comment.

Liberalism in a Box(1).jpg

This is the graphic from "Liberalism in a Box" (click to enlarge).  Get this man an NEA grant, pronto.  What?  "Good Art" is supposed to be jarring, unsettling, and offensive, isn't it?  And judging from how incensed and offended the other studens were by DeQuattro's stuff, I'd say he's a damn good artist.

Maybe I've misunderstood this whole 'art' thing, but haven't we been taught that when brave, cutting edge artists were spraying liquified elephant poop and pasting photos cut from porn magazines on a portrait of the Virgin Mary, or dunking a crucifix in a jar of urine, or sculpting a nude crucified Jesus out of milk chocolate, they were doing all of us a favor by exposing the very corrupting powers that kept Western Civilization crushed under the cruel oppression of the rich and powerful and their evil systems of colonialization, capitalism, and organized religion?

Anyway, if you were offended by their 'art' it was because you were either: 1) benefiting from the domination system of racism, homophobia, patriarchy, colonialism, and religious intolerance and therefore were hopelessly evil, or 2) blinded by the corrupting influence of the hopelessly evil, and therefore too hopelessly stupid and ignorant to ever understand how 'art' was trying to liberate you.  Or something like that.  I'm awfully confused these days.

So I guess the question is, are the people who are offended by DeQuattro's art really offended because they are benefiting from the cult of liberalism and its closed-minded, class-differentiated, elitist, self-credentialed exclusionism?  Are they offended because they know they will suffer if they are shaken out of their ivory towers or deprived of their precious government endowments and subsidies?  That being the case, isn't DeQuattro really doing them a favor by rattling their cages a little bit, and perhaps giving them a much needed dose of reality?  Or has he simply exposed them as a bunch of spoiled, humorless, thin-skinned prigs who richly deserved to be mocked?

I'm just askin' ...


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Comments (12)

As to what you are just ask... (Below threshold)
Andrew X:

As to what you are just askin'?

Ummmmmm.... he has simply exposed them as a bunch of spoiled, humorless, thin-skinned prigs who richly deserved to be mocked.

Glad I could help.

Too bad that poster--even t... (Below threshold)

Too bad that poster--even the larger versions-- is too small to read all the biggest print. I bet it's amusing.

@PBunyan, I searched for a ... (Below threshold)

@PBunyan, I searched for a larger version but this was the best I could find.

All of this is really too b... (Below threshold)
James H:

All of this is really too bad. He's an artist. Let him show is art at venues where his status (resident artist, art student, and so forth) would ordinarily permit him to show it.

"Artists" can be "offended"... (Below threshold)

"Artists" can be "offended"? Who knew?

DeQuattro is quite clever... (Below threshold)

DeQuattro is quite clever. Probably too clever as Sustainable Liberalism in a Box hits too close to home for our liberal friends.

And face it, liberals really have no sense of humor, well, unless they're spending other peoples money. Then they're as jovial as can be. But call them on it and all hell breaks loose.

DeQuattro, however, does give me hope for the future. The liberal brainwashing isn't getting everyone.

This could be totally diffe... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

This could be totally different but, back to my college days I spent three semesters in the university's School of Fine Arts. In reflection now I can say that (back then) we were all models of conformity within our non-conformity. When reading several stories about DeQuattro and his problems with Pratt I got the impression that if things have changed any it would only be in efforts for still more conformity to their non-conformity.

The liberal strategy depend... (Below threshold)

The liberal strategy depends on being able to focus discourse on the intended outcomes of their policy. What agitates them is any insistence on a frank discourse of the actual outcomes of their policy. Reality will always expose the failure of the liberal agenda. The ingredients list on this art piece pretty much explains it.

My experiences have been th... (Below threshold)

My experiences have been that most liberals are much less tolerant than conservatives. Their mentality is we must be tolerant of others unless I disagree with you.

For example take a subgroup that I call “true” hippies. We disagree on many issues and they think I was foolish for being in the military but they were like “hey dude its cool” and I felt little hostility from them. However the “want to be” ones knew the philosophy but did not practice it. They often acted very hostile towards me for my beliefs and tried to use peer pressure to change my ways.

Good art is like what Mr. J... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Good art is like what Mr. Justice Stewart said of pornography: "I may not be able to define it, but I know it when I see it."

Art is indeed in the eye of the beholder - entirely subjective. Which is precisely why the government should have no role at all in it.

Art is indeed in t... (Below threshold)
James H:
Art is indeed in the eye of the beholder - entirely subjective. Which is precisely why the government should have no role at all in it.

Disagree to an extent. I see nothing wrong with government funding of civic artworks -- monuments, memorials, and so forth -- as well as architecture in gov't buildings and similar works in which the government is essentially a customer rather than a patron.

I also find it entirely appropriate to providing funding, work space, and show space to students at public schools who are studying the arts. After all, if an accounting major gets to use school computers to make spreadsheets, I see nothing wrong with a photography major getting to use the school computers for photographs ... or even a darkroom if its available.

And, honestly, if local governments want to sponsor community theaters or community orchestras, who am I to judge?

A rare medium, well done.</... (Below threshold)

A rare medium, well done.






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