The University of Alaska at Anchorage’s faculty art show escalated quickly. by displaying a painting depicting President Trump’s decapitated head.
The painting was submitted by associate professor Thomas Chung. It depicts a nude Chris Evans (Captain America) holding the severed head of Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton from decades past clings to Evan’s leg. Chung reported weeping for days after Trump was elected. He labels himself as typically, a social artist, but said that the election bled into his work. Chung was hesitant to display the painting for fear of ‘disturbing students’, but decided to anyway.
I was really torn about putting this piece up a faculty show, because I would never talk about my own political beliefs to my students. I would never push that upon them and make them feel uncomfortable, and so I wondered to myself if putting up this painting was in a way doing that. But I realized that I feel very strongly about this, and I think even students that might be pro-Trump supporters could benefit from having a conversation with me about why I feel this way — why I painted this.
Chairman of UAA’s fine arts department, Steven Godfrey, thinks the work is fine:
I guess the people are upset about the work that’s being shown…If they were taking a class at the university and made art that was considered controversial, no matter what their political or religious bent is, we would do our best to protect them and protect their rights to make that kind of work in the institution, whether it would be a student or faculty.
Paul Berger, a former professor at UAA and a self-labeled conservative is torn over whether the work should be allowed to stay on display. Berger wrote:
“First thing that comes to mind is freedom of expression, fair enough (although, I might wager the severed head of our former president might elicit a different response from the administration of UAA and their student body). The second is public funding of our university system.”
He continued the argument by telling KTUU:
Had the roles been reversed, and it was Obama’s head hanging there, I think the outrage would be fantastic. As a free speech advocate, everyone has a right to express their opinion the way they want to express them. But as a parent and a citizen, there’s a discussion. In a university setting, what’s appropriate?
The painting is currently scheduled to be on display until next week when the show ends.
What is your reaction to this? Let Caffeinated Thoughts know in the comments.
(H/T: The Blaze)
Read the complete text here: Painting Displaying Trump’s Decapitated Head Sparks Freedom of Expression Debate at the University of Alaska