Item description for Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More by Kittredge Cherry...
Art that Dares to show Jesus as gay or female has been censored or destroyed. Now for the first time these beautiful, liberating, sometimes shocking images are gathered for all to see. Packed with full-page color illustrations, this eye-opening collection features a diverse group of eleven contemporary artists who work both inside and outside the church. They present the gay Jesus, the woman Christ, and other cutting-edge Christian images. Their art respects the teachings of Jesus and frees the minds of viewers to see in new ways. Here the artists tell the stories behind their art. A lively introduction puts the images into political and historical context, exploring issues of blasphemy and artistic freedom.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 10.8" Width: 8.3" Height: 0.4" Weight: 0.25 lbs.
Release Date Apr 10, 2007
Publisher AndroGyne Press
ISBN 1933993294 ISBN13 9781933993294
Availability 0 units.
More About Kittredge Cherry
KITTREDGE CHERRY has written for Newsweek, the Wall Street Journal, and Mother Jones. A graduate of the University of Iowa, she worked as a newspaper reporter in Illinois before going to Japan on a Rotary Foundation Journalism scholarship in 1982. She has worked for many years in the communications field. JANET ASHBY is a freelance writer and translator who has lived in Japan since 1975. She has written a column in the Japan Times for several years on Japanese books and has a particular interest in Japanese popular culture.
Reviews - What do customers think about Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More?
A New Look Jan 9, 2008
Cherry, Kittredge. "Art that Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More", Androgyne Press, 2007.
A New Look
I must preface this review by saying how much I admire Kittredge Cherry. She is a brave person in that she touches the very center of many people's being and is not afraid. After having written the beautiful and ahead of its time novel, "Jesus in Love", she follows with a collection of paintings, photographs and graphics that give "alternative versions of Christian imagery". Here is quite a collection that includes the work of eleven artists and detailed explanations of the themes of each work presented and a wonderful and insightful introduction by the author. In this introduction Cherry devotes some space to a discussion of blasphemy as opposed to visionary. I am sure that there are those that will label the work collected here as blasphemous but if that is what it is, it is full of respect and inspirational. What I found so interesting in this book is the diversity that it shows. One of the fascinating aspects of the book is the way the artists relate what brought them to create what they did and other stories about their creations including reading about the censorship issues and the hate mail received as well as violence and destruction suffered. Cherry, herself, provides the historical and political context of the works. Another valuable asset that the book provides is that it lets us reflect on holiness and profanity and how, on occasion the two merge. Looking at the artwork presented is an experience and the works reinforce concepts of queerness and femininity. The artwork combined with Cherry's literate commentary allays all fears of what you see--and it is quite shocking to see some of the representations--but Cherry very carefully and tenderly explains so much. We see Jesus as a woman, as black, being adored by leather men and of Mary in a close female relationship. I found myself staring intently at some of the images and wondering how people would react. It is hard to truly express in words what my initial response was. Viewing these images is an emotional experience which as the ability to amaze and disconcert at the same time. The art does what words cannot explain and I wonder if I was stunned by the images and I am a Jew, how others will react. There is no denying the beauty of the art and certainly no denying the emotional impact that it has. It makes one wonder if everything that has been instilled in us until now is the way it really was. The book is an eye opener and I highly recommend it. Not only does it stun with its beauty, it also amazes the mind.
Deftly compiled Jul 9, 2007
Deftly compiled by author and art historian Kittredge Cherry, "Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, And More" is an iconoclastic collection of artwork with themes of Jesus as being gay or female. These are works of imaginative, thoughtful, and thought-provoking art that have been censored -- and in some cases destroyed -- because of political pressures brought about by conventional Christian communities and authorities. In addition to the full color reproductions of the artworks themselves, "Art That Dares" also provides their historical context with the artists fascinating and informative stories about how they came to create their works. This collection of challenging Christian images is an especially recommended acquisition for personal and academic library Art History collections and of particular interest for seminary students of Contemporary Christian Issues.
A Much Needed Survey of Alternative Views of Religious Ideas Jul 3, 2007
Kittredge Cherry is a not only a well-trained student of the arts, art history, and journalism, but she is also an equally well schooled in religious studies. With such fine credentials it will be difficult for anyone to not pay attention to this provocative, beautifully designed and illustrated book ART THAT DARES: GAY JESUS, WOMAN CHRIST, AND MORE, a thoughtful book written in a style that is not the usual dry reportage encountered in many art history books. Kittredge, thankfully, writes as she probably preaches - with sincerity, warmth, and an unbiased and unfettered language style that is easy to read, making her thoughts and research far more credible.
Her courage to approach so many 'verboten' regions of religious imagery and concepts is refreshing and well informed. After an Introduction explaining her inspiration to share religion that she views as more inclusive for the world body than the present patriarchal stance that too often comes from the world's pulpits, Kittredge presents the art of eleven artists who dare to paint and sculpt religious images of Jesus as a gay man, the Christ figure as a woman, and other 'blasphemous' stances of variations on the figures of Mary and Jesus as viewed in a more human light with all of the inherent possibilities of presentation that invokes. She makes her case through biographies and interviews with the artists featured in a conversational style that is at once lucid and touching: many of the images of Jesus as a gay man grew from the seeds of destruction in the path of AIDS, a time when the gay population needed a religious figure who appeared less condemning and more accepting. A similar approach is taken by the artists who elect to examine the feminine side of religion and the succor that earth mother, so widely accepted throughout civilization, be made incarnate in the form of the virgin Mary and even to the figure on the crucifixion cross.
The art works in the book vary from splendid to simply touching: Gary Speziale whose magnificent colored pencil drawings are matched by is porcelain sculptures; the striking beauty of Janet McKenzie's androgynous and African American 'Jesus of the People' among others; Becki Jayne Harrelson's classically inspired portraits that happily include some much appreciated humor; F. Douglas Blanchard whose series 'Ecce Homo' is worth the price of the book; Elizabeth Ohlson Wallin's impressively staged and executed large photographs; Edwina Sandys' popular bronze 'Christa' as the crucified woman; the icon inspired works of Robert Lenz, William Hart McNichols, Alex Donis' amazingly rich light boxes of various world religion figures; Jill Ansell's magical realism inspired version of religious experiences; and the daring and provocative paintings of Sandra Yagi. One could quibble at the absence of the unique works in this vein of the popular artists such as Scott Siedman, Delmas Howe and others whose works are better known, but Kittredge does explain that after viewing the works of many artists she met with some resistance for inclusion in a book that may 'label' their output as either LGBT or anti-religious - a sad but realistic stance for many artists even today.
In her introduction Kittredge quotes Proverbs 29:18 'Where there is no vision, the people perish.' In this fine book she begins the path to change attitudes and embrace a larger audience who believe first and foremost that religion is a realm of divine embracing of all mankind. It is a book that dares as much as the art that dares, and Kittredge is to be congratulated on a wholly successful achievement. Grady Harp, July 07