Satire? Commentary? Sacrilege? Discuss.

Above: The Bruce MacDonald painting in question

A few complaints have been registered locally (along with far more expressions of admiration, it should be noted) about "Crucified Stuffed Bunny," a painting by Bruce MacDonald that’s been catching the eyes of Main Street passers-by here in North Adams.

In light of these varied responses, Berkshire Artists Collony gallerist Brian Handspicker has decided to invite commentary about MacDonald’s provocative artwork at an Art Talk event to be held later this week — at 7:30 on Thursday, September 30, to be specific, at 107 Main Street where the painting now hangs. Following opening comments by "a panel of local religious leaders and art leaders" audience-members will be encouraged to have their say.

As you may suspect since I’m using blog space to tell you about this, I’ve been invited to be part of the panel. Other panelists who’ve agreed to participate so far include Rev. Jerrod Hugenot, Minister at Bennington First Baptist Church and Rev. Jerry Handspicker, a Theology Professor (now-retired) who formerly taught at Andover Newton Theological School. Brian says he’s also been trying to corral a Catholic priest and an art professor but hasn’t yet been able to nail a commitment.

Come Thursday we shall see who shows up to join the exchange of ideas. Hopefully some of those naysayers who started the whole controversy, such as it is, will show up to make things lively.

[LATE BREAKING NEWS: Due to torrential rain on September 30, the "Crucified Stuffed Bunny" Art Talk has been re-scheduled for Friday, October 15.]

Ocean View

Eddie and Lulu I got to breathe in some ocean air last week (and in Lulu’s case to drink a few gallons of ocean water that were expeditiously thrown up afterwards), thanks to the urgings of our longtime friends from New York City, John Gillick and Betsy Burger. John and Betsy, who’ve been vacationing on Cape Cod for a few weeks, succeeded in coaxing us to join them for a few days.

Above: Eddie and me strolling along the Cape Cod shore. Though Lulu was undaunted by the water’s late-summer chill, no way was I going to follow her into the beautiful but inhospitable brine; hence my choice of street apparel rather than swimwear.

Below: Betsy, John, and Eddie pose with Lulu on a beachside boardwalk.

Above: Lulu relaxes on a backyard deck while deciding whether the seagulls who’re flying nearby require a vocal response.

A Little Love from NPR

My day was brightened earlier this month by Glen Weldon‘s generous online review of Stuck Rubber Baby on NPR’s Monkey See blog.

Meanwhile, SRB was also given an on-air nod this morning by Matt Tannenbaum in the "Weekly Book Picks" segment that airs every Tuesday on WAMC / Northeast Public Radio‘s "The Roundtable." Matt is the proprietor of The Bookstore in Lenox, where I’ve been invited to read from Stuck Rubber Baby on Saturday afternoon at 2 on October 16.

Today’s Stray Comic

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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3 Responses to Satire? Commentary? Sacrilege? Discuss.

  1. Whoo-haaa! Outrageous! Yeah, I can understand why hordes of reeling Christians are up in arms against this abomination: obviously, this is THE picture with the power to bring down the whole of Christendom.

    Who’d have thunk religions were so fragile every tiny slight might tear them asunder?

  2. Cherie Colston says:

    I love the painting! Wish I could afford to buy it!! I showed this to my sweetie, Tom (a self-proclaimed “recovering Catholic”), and he said, “What’s the problem? That’s not Jesus. That’s a bunny!” Out of the mouths of babes…

  3. It seems to me that your community is dealing with the controversy about that painting in exactly the right way: inviting everyone with an opinion to share. If only all of our disputes could be dealt with so rationally.