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'Christie' Sculpture Symbol of Freedom

July 25, 1993

* My shock and disbelief at the narrow-mindedness of those who live behind the Orange Curtain intensifies with every news article I read. I am referring to the article, "Woman Crucifix Sculpture at Fair Draws Criticism" (July 15).

Obviously, the noisy complainants do not believe in freedom of expression for anyone but themselves. They must be reminded that free speech and freedom of religion are the cornerstones to our democracy. But then again, most fundamentalists don't want a democracy, they want theocracy.

I find it amusing and yet galling that people would find this work of art "sacrilegious." I wonder if any of the complaining fanatics ever read the Bible. In Genesis 1:26, it says that God created male and female in God's image. I do not think it is sacrilegious to depict a woman on the cross. Instead, I view "Christie" as a moral affront to religious patriarchy and sanctimonious discrimination. Fear of losing their position of power and control, fear of equality itself, is what motivated the right-wing fundamentalists to complain.

(The artist, Charles) Young Jr. sums it up best when he says, " . . . that kind of narrow view probably got Christ crucified in the first place."

BETH T. SHAFER

Santa Ana Heights

* * Paul Apodaca, curator at the Bowers Museum, is apparently as eloquent and courageous as he appears to be knowledgeable and supportive of the merits of local art.

"Christie" and her creator, the similarly brave and expressive Charles Young Jr., must be allowed to live and thrive, if America is to remain a model of personal freedom and liberty. Those offended only prove by their attempts at censorship the facade that are their symbols for what should be an honest belief in the human spirit.

The county fair officials will similarly deserve praise only if they stick with their original selection plan, and show the works judged by their own select panel to have been worthy, including "Christie."

BILL HONIGMAN

Laguna Hills

* * Good art, like good music, is meant to rattle a few nerves. There are people who are wealthy enough to be able to afford a family outing at the fair, and yet are culturally so impoverished that the only "art" they can appreciate are the kinds adorning the walls of their dentist's office.

Why even have an art exhibition at all, when any controversy resulting from it can relate directly to the "family values of the fair"? I, for one, fail to make that connection. If an unusual and thought-provoking piece of work is so offensive to these people, shouldn't they just keep little Junior away from it? I'm sure they exercise that same discretion with the other rides and activities at the fair, which they may regard as being too upsetting for their offspring (or themselves, for that matter).

This incident should also inform the remaining artists just what kind of standards their works are being judged by . . . (it has to) be cutesy-poo, pretty or else serve some practical function.

"Fine" art, indeed.

KATHY PASHBY

Costa Mesa

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