XXX Jesus Will Return to Loveland, This Time Chastened and Pure

XXX Jesus Will Return to Loveland, This Time Chastened and Pure

The saga of the XXX Jesus art-demolition continues, and it has taken a somewhat surprising, even penitent turn. To review, earlier this month long-haul trucker Kathleen Folden was so incensed by a depiction of a buxom Jesus receiving a below-the-belt sexual favor — part of a satirical lithograph on display at Colorado’s Loveland Museum/Gallery — that she took a crowbar to the lascivious work. Now, the artist who made the print, Stanford professor Enrique Chagoya, has accepted a commission from the pastor of Loveland's Resurrection Fellowship church to create a less provocative portrait of the Christian savior for the place of worship.

Dialogue between the artist and the pastor began prior to the attack, when opposition to the artwork, called "The Misadventures of Romantic Cannibals," was limited to peaceful protests outside the museum. "Would you offer your artistic ability and compose an image of Christ representing love and understanding, something precious?," the Denver Channel reports pastor Jonathan Wiggins wrote to Chagoya last week. While Chagoya suggested contributing an abstract work, he eventually agreed to depict Jesus himself, politely, after being walked through a range of scenarios from the bible, according to the Associated Press

 

The 1,400-member congregation has asserted its "overwhelming approval" of the project, according to the Denver Post, although a handful of the flock stormed out upon hearing the news that the Mexico City-born artist would be creating a new work for the church, free of charge. The portrait — "the most loving picture of Jesus I could possibly make," the artist promises — will be ready in spring. 

Folden, meanwhile, has pleaded not guilty to one count of criminal mischief for her art-attack of Chagoya’s work, and faces up to six years in prison for her shredding spree if convicted. While she is currently out on $350 bail — posted for her by an anonymous fan — on Friday, the 56-year old Montana native appeared in court in a T-shirt that read, "Jesus beat the devil with a big wooden stick." (This is even more apropos than the "Tougher Than Nails!" tee Folden wore while committing the crime.) Three days have been reserved beginning January 3 for a jury trial on the felony charge of criminal mischief and a motions hearing has been set for November 19.

As for Chagoya's generous willingness to make a portrait for the church, it suggests he has been somewhat chastened by the Loveland episode. Either that, or he finds the whole thing to be amusing. "I think the novelty of an evangelical Christian calling him and wantinga dialogue pleasantly surprised him," pastor Wiggins told the Denver Channel.