The Misadventures of Enrique Chagoya: Aesthetic Marginalization in Interpretations of Jesus Christ


Abstract
This essay is an investigation of the relationship between homosexual interpretations of Jesus Christ and artistic explorations of the meaning of Christ to the LGBTQ community. I begin with an analysis of the public backlash to Enrique Chagoya’s 2010 lithograph The Misadventures of the Romantic Cannibals which features a depiction of Christ in a homoerotic situation. My analysis focuses both on Chagoya’s place in the historical canon of artists that create religious art that challenges heteronormative interpretations of Jesus and also the resulting destruction of Chagoya’s work. My analysis examines the cultural importance of homosexual interpretations of Christ in the on-going debates about homosexuality as well as the biblical justifications for such interpretations. More, I argue that the public backlash to art that challenges traditionally held beliefs about Christ creates a cultural force for further marginalizing the LGBTQ community. I argue that traditional power structures, especially in contemporary America, rely upon the aesthetic marginalization of those individuals deemed to be engaged in subversive lifestyles in order to maintain their dominance in cultural discourse. Ironically, I argue, the attempts to subdue such artwork generates the necessary conditions for public discourse that will ultimately undermine the traditional cultural beliefs that undergird the protests against artists like Chagoya
Keywords Enrique Chagoya, Jesus Christ, homosexual, aesthetics, marginalization, blasphemy
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Of Art and Blasphemy.Anthony Fisher & Hayden Ramsay - 2000 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 3 (2):137-167.

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