Believe in Love, And do please call out the bullshit
During Lent, attentions begin to draw to the Stations of the Cross. The Stations are a series of fourteen images depicting scenes along the way of Christ’s journey down the Via Dolorosa, his final journey through Jerusalem bearing his cross, on the way to his crucifixion. Many churches set up fourteen stations, one for each image, where worshippers make a circuit among them following the story. They pray and contemplate at each station as they go, focusing on God, love, and sacrifice.
One wonderful thing about COVID is that the National Gallery of Modern Art in Washington, DC has mercifully canceled all its exhibits. Thereby we are spared from their tendency during Lent to show Barnett Newman’s masterpiece, The Stations of the Cross: Lema Sabachtani. I remember being a young man new to town in Washington when I was told of this. It was described to me as a wonderful thing and something that should not be missed during Lent. Being an eager young Christian I went with anticipation, and what I saw shocked me. It was nothing but white canvases with black lines running down them. One after another it was always the same. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” I exclaimed to the amusement of most, as I looked around to see all the patrons eagerly taking in the so-called art with great seriousness.
People are under a spell. You can find tons of ink spilled on this guy, Bernard Newman and his many companion fraudsters. You can read up on Newman’s “deep search for language of expression”, about the “modalities” and “externalities”, and whatever rot they vomit forward about this. Some grievously misled student somewhere is drafting his thesis in reverence to this bilge right now. One of Newman’s works has sold for $85 million, another for $45 million, yet you can scarcely tell them apart. Each are but one line drawn down the middle of otherwise blank canvases.
Stop it, people. Rub your eyes, drink some strong coffee, do something. Break the spell for this is madness and enough already. This is all one big giant fraud. And it is harmful. This crap is harmful because it misdirects your eyes away from the beautiful and the true. Instead of perplexing you with stupid silliness, The Stations of the Cross, the real ones not the criminal usurper ones, devote you to God. The real Stations focus you on great love, great sacrifice, great suffering for truth and redemption. Enough with the charlatans and the deceivers, enough already!
I’ve uploaded each of the fourteen criminal obscenities that make up Newman’s abomination here as a testament so you can see with your own eyes what I’m talking about. I don’t know how Newman named each station, but it doesn’t matter. There are some variations from one list of stations to others and I don’t know which list Newman followed, but that also doesn’t matter. I have taken some care to make sure that painting #1 matched with station #1, and painting #2 matched with station #2, and so on. But I very well might have screwed that up, and that also does not matter.
None of that stuff matters because the bottom line is this: what we have here is crap, and it remains crap no matter which way you cut it. And let’s not take this anymore. Have some confidence, don’t be cowered, don’t fear any mockery, call things for what they are.