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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bill Donohue Call Your Office!

posted by on December 11 at 14:32 PM

An art gallery in Los Angeles is hosting an offensive Christmas art show—they’re calling it “Merry Titmas”—and just check out this piece.


Wow. That’s the Holy Mother in a Hooter’s t-shirt and the Holy Infant has been replaced with a pile of hot wings. Surely this is just as offensive as that Folsom Street Fair poster, right? I mean, look at those eyebrows—we all know the Holy Mother did not pluck her eyebrows or use blue eye shadow. LAist has an interview with the show’s curator, Lenora Claire, and it seems pretty clear that she intended to provoke good Catholics everywhere…

The painting of the Holy Mother wearing a Hooters tank top will clearly offend a lot of people. Especially because instead of the Messiah in the manger, it’ s a couple dozen hot wings. When exactly did you sell your soul to the Devil?

Lenora Claire: I’ve always said art much like breasts should be in your face. Since this is a show about art and breasts I started thinking of taking something as classic as a typical nativity scene and giving it a pop twist. I really feel that is the Virgin Mary found herself knocked up today that she would have to go work at Hooters to support the baby Jesus. Like everything I do there are high brow and low brow elements. It’s all about subversion.

Sure on one level people are going to be shocked but that is what gets them talking. You can either get off on the humor of it or the bold feminist statement. Or you can be offended. My goal with this show is to stimulate and titillate and I know I’ve accomplished that. I’m just lucky I was able to wrangle my friend Ed Mironiuk in to drawing it as it would be less impressive if I was left to expressing myself with my finger painting skills.

Titmas? Really? Why do you hate Christmas? Don’t you know that makes the baby Jesus cry?

Lenora Claire: As a Jew I have a pretty warped fascination with Christmas probably stemming from the Pee Wee Herman Christmas special I was obsessed with as a child and Divine going apescat over not getting her cha cha heels.

So when does the shitstorm already begin? Who will be first to point out that Ms. Clair didn’t dare put blue eye shadow on Mohammed? Or this sort of crap only truly offensive when gay people do it?

RSS icon Comments


I love that. everythign from the Mary nametag to the Bethlehem location.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | December 11, 2007 2:36 PM

"the bold feminist statement"?
and that would be???

Posted by chi type | December 11, 2007 2:40 PM

The gallery isn't sponsored my a major corporation or anyone the Religious Right holds any capital with. Remember, they got all upset at the Piss Christ, but they're platform then was an opposition to NEA grants.

None of these objection they do are ever in earnest anyhow, they're done en mass during the holidays to raise "awareness" (i.e. solicit contributions from the public) because that's when most people are feeling charitable, and is commonly when most bullshit non-profits line their coffers.

The Folsom Street poster was probably just too good to pass up, with a major beverage conglomerate as the target.

Posted by Dougsf | December 11, 2007 2:42 PM

Meh. They did Whore Madonna back in the Renaissance.

Jesus replaced with a pile of hot wings does make me smile though. Mmm. Wings.

Posted by Gloria | December 11, 2007 2:50 PM

How great that the untethered breasts are lopsided, as implants so often are. I can practically hear them squeaking. Yay verisimilitude, if that's the word!

Posted by tomasyalba | December 11, 2007 2:52 PM

Are we allowed to not like it because it's shitty? Art, that is. As a joke it's almost funny.

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 2:53 PM

@5: Even better, it could be a reference to Fouquet's Madonna and Child!

But I doubt it.

Posted by Gloria | December 11, 2007 2:57 PM

Big Boobs, hooters and sexy Mary
in a world dominated by heterosexual white males will probably just get a snicker and they will move on.

And no I do not think that is right.
If they reacted to the other they should react to this but I doubt they will.

Posted by mj | December 11, 2007 3:02 PM

I'm not a Jew, but I share Ms. Claire's obsession with Pee Wee's Christmas special and Dawn Davenport's "going apescat" over those cha-cha heels!

Posted by Will in 98103 | December 11, 2007 3:05 PM

The first time I ever saw Hooters Restaurant was when I drove into Puerto Vallarta. I had never heard the term hooters in my life. I thought it was a restaurant for bird watchers or people who liked owls!

Posted by mj | December 11, 2007 3:17 PM

Get a hold of a Quake Rugby 2008 Calendar and take a look at December... you won't be disappointed Dan.

Posted by Quake Rugby | December 11, 2007 3:20 PM

Get a hold of a Quake Rugby 2008 Calendar and take a look at December... you won't be disappointed Dan.

Posted by Quake Rugby | December 11, 2007 3:21 PM

Last year we started a tradition of inviting friends over to watch Pee Wee's Christmas Special. Seriously, y'all. If you haven't seen it, you must. You simply must. It's one of the gayest things ever. And I mean that in a good way.

Posted by Michigan Matt | December 11, 2007 3:29 PM

tomasyalba, fake boobs are less likely to be lopsided than real ones.

Posted by Fnarf | December 11, 2007 3:32 PM

that picture is fucking fantastic

Posted by adrian | December 11, 2007 3:44 PM

at first glance i thought those hot wings were turds

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | December 11, 2007 3:54 PM

As long as she submits herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband. Oh, wait, she is the Virgin Mary.

Posted by Gay Seattle | December 11, 2007 3:55 PM

The technique is really good, and the subject is quite silly. Made me smirk.

Posted by Greg | December 11, 2007 3:55 PM

It's a neat way to get more people into church.

"Take of these hot wings, eat; this is my body." Jesus likewise took the cup, blessed it, and then gave it to them, "Drink ye all of it; For this Redhook is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins..."

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 11, 2007 3:56 PM

I thought they were abortions. Now that would have made a splash!

Posted by Irena | December 11, 2007 4:59 PM

Granted, Fnarf. Still, lopsided implant boobies heighten the funny of holy hot wings, no? Natural lopsidies like Alice Neel's invoke wonder and all, but no giggles.

Posted by tomasyalba | December 11, 2007 5:00 PM

"I really feel that is[sic] the Virgin Mary found herself knocked up today that she would have to go work at Hooters to support the baby Jesus. Like everything I do there are high brow and low brow elements. Itís all about subversion."

Ah ha ha ha...yes Hooters is falling all over themselves to hire pregnant waitresses. Or rather "waitresses". Another out-of-touch "artist". This is about as subversive as that Britney birthing statue.

Posted by laterite | December 11, 2007 5:21 PM

Here's a thought (the Catholic League can go ahead and use this): Boycott Hooters for not suing the art gallery. It's the outrage-at-lack-of-corporate-outrage thing.

Hooters would cave. They need good Catholics. Bad.

Posted by elenchos | December 11, 2007 6:01 PM

I...I suddenly want to go to Hooters..

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 11, 2007 7:42 PM

My roommate's dad took his mother and grandmother to hooters for mother's day.

Posted by vooodooo84 | December 11, 2007 10:06 PM

I just want some "hot wings"...

Posted by COMTE | December 11, 2007 10:12 PM

I love that Dan's comment was "Wow" considering that the show is taking place at the World Of Wonder Storefront Gallery (aka WOW)

Which is being hosted the next few weeks by the fabulous James St. James!

Posted by Beau | December 11, 2007 10:19 PM

What Folsom poster...?

Posted by Peter | December 11, 2007 11:02 PM

I love that poster ... it's the antithesis of thought provoking ...

It makes me want chicken wings for christmas

Posted by OR Matt | December 11, 2007 11:57 PM

the peewee herman special is one big gay creamery of estrogen punch...i've loved it forevah

Cast includes: Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne), Reba the Mail Lady (S. Epatha Merkerson), and Miss Yvonne (Lynne Stewart). Guest stars include: Frankie Avalon, Whoopi Goldberg, Joan Rivers, Charo, Del Rubio Triplets, Annette Funicello, Magic Johnson, Dinah Shore, Grace Jones, Oprah Winfrey, k.d. lang, Little Richard, Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Posted by not ot scale | December 12, 2007 12:28 AM

When I first looked at that I thought the hot wings were a pile of baby pigs.

But yah, shitty art.

Posted by giffy | December 12, 2007 4:36 AM

I have to agree with #22. It is sad to think there are still so many artists who still think attacking the Catholic church is courageous or subversive.

Posted by mike | December 12, 2007 5:34 AM

If that's not "offensive" enough, how about the baby Jesus inside a vulva styled to look like the Virgin of Guadalupe, all sitting on top of Mexico, rendered as a pile of guts, mainlining some smack. Here you go:$171*827649

Posted by Rottenchester | December 12, 2007 7:15 AM

Who knew that Mary was a DDD?

Posted by Greg | December 12, 2007 9:43 AM

Dang! The virgin Mary had some big knockers!

Posted by Madge-YoursoakingINIT! | December 12, 2007 10:07 AM

The Folsom poster didn't offend me a bit. To me it was a commentary on a painting, not on religious figures.

But this? Yeah. This is mocking the actual religious figures, and that pisses me off.

She's still totally within her rights to do it. But I will happily be looking away.

Posted by Sara | December 13, 2007 11:47 AM

How about a big ol' hook-nose Jew lighting a Menorah with hundred dollar bills from her Christmas retail profits? Laugh riot...and so subversive, no?

Posted by he-hipi-toa | December 14, 2007 9:57 AM

"Who will be first to point out that Ms. Clair didnít dare put blue eye shadow on Mohammed?"

Well, that would be Andrew Sullivan, who says, in John Wayne baritone no doubt, "My general rule with 'brave' outsider anti-religious art is to ask if they'd do to Islam what they do routinely to Catholicism. Most don't. Poseurs are often cowards."

Of course, what Sullivan ignores is that Americans interested in critiquing, satirizing, or even offending their own culture might just not be as obssessed about Islam as his phobia-ridden Catholic ass.

Like Christopher Hitchens or Theo Van Gogh don't and didn't attack all sides. Like there was no Mohammed cartoon debacle. Right, artists and thinkers do nothing but shrink before the mighty Islamofascism. And you better insult the whole world if you're gonna insult Catholicism, or else you're a coward. Sheesh.

Posted by Winner: Andrew Sullivan | December 14, 2007 10:26 AM

The problem with the art world is that it is infested with lame wannabes.

Posted by unclesmedley | December 14, 2007 11:17 AM

"...the bold feminist statement"?

When I plugged that into my ethical calculator along with the Hooters angle, all the magic smoke came out of it and it doesn't work anymore.

Can anyone here help me add that up?

Posted by Billy Beck | December 14, 2007 11:22 AM

I'm in agreement with Andrew Sullivan.

Jesus getting shit on in a South Park episode before a benign image of Muhammad is censored was far more thought-provoking and subversive than this Hooters virgin which looks more like tacky corporate advertising than an artistic critique of societal and religious norms. Meh.

The Folsom Street Fair post was amusing. This, 20 years after the Piss Christ, is just banal.

Posted by Woodwards Friend | December 14, 2007 11:31 AM

Yup, Sullivan has it: "My general rule with "brave" outsider anti-religious art is to ask if they'd do to Islam what they do routinely to Catholicism. Most don't. Poseurs are often cowards."

Posted by BH | December 14, 2007 12:11 PM

Lenora Claire is a typical pissmistress. She has no talent--fine her work clearly admits that. But she has no guts--and is too much of a sewertrap to admit it. Poseurs are _always_ cowards.

Posted by Deana Jenkins | December 14, 2007 3:57 PM

No, Sullivian doesn't have it.

The use of icons within the Catholic Church - as powerful propaganda and tacky postcards - is completely different to the use of imagery within the Islamic tradition. Therefore the way one satirizes and critiques the religion are not going to be comparable.

I'm sure the "Would you do it for Islam?" question has force in other areas - but not when it comes to icons and iconoclasm.

Posted by Robert | December 14, 2007 6:52 PM

If this is art, than Nancy in the old comic section is a masterpiece. This is something I'd expect in an old National Lampoon satire, but as art, it's crud. But I am still waiting for some of the avant gard to take on the Muslims and let America see what fascist pre-medieval throwbacks they are

Posted by Jakester | December 14, 2007 10:04 PM

Worse than offensive, trite.

Posted by metrico | December 15, 2007 5:33 AM

I just wanted to take a moment and thank Dan Savage for posting about my show. My last show Golden Gals Gone Wild which also debuted at the World of Wonder Gallery in Hollywood (yes, the production company look them up) featured erotic art of the Golden Girls in an attempt to open up discussion about ageism and sexuality. I gave interviews with everyone from NPR to the National Enquirer so obviously I was successful in doing just that with a wide range of people. To those who commented they didn't understand my "bold feminist statement" about the Hooters piece, all I can say is that I was trying to express that women especially single mothers do what they have to do to survive. Many of the gals you see in those orange short shorts drop off their little ones at day care before serving up hotwings and hula-hooping for your enjoyment. What better way to express that than with the mother of all mothers. As far as the comment about people only being outraged "when gay people do it" World of Wonder (Rupaul show, Eyes of Tammy Faye, Trans Generation, Party Monster, What Perez Says) is just about the gayest production company out there. While in reality I'm a straight girl that only looks like a drag queen I am also on the editorial staff at Frontiers magazine, was a regular on the now defunct Queer Edge on Q tv, and gave gay men dating advice on Sirius radios Out Q station. Oh and 75% of the artists in the show are gay. Just wanted to set you straight;)

Posted by LenoraClaire | December 18, 2007 12:29 PM

The Merry Titmas show was a hoot (no pun intended) even though the nude Facts of Life portrait has created quite a stir among Lisa Whelchel's "Ministry Moms" and the UCP Foundation.

"Oh the humanity!!"

Posted by anonymous | December 23, 2007 8:40 AM

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