The prolific Daily Dish links to a willfully provocative art exhibition in Los Angles, entitled “Merry Titmas”. Andrew makes the point that such ‘provocative’ shows are actually pretty run-of-the-mill and lacking in real bravery.
My general rule with “brave” outsider anti-religious art is to ask if they’d do to Islam what they do routinely to Catholicism. Most don’t. Poseurs are often cowards.
This is a surprisingly immature comparison to make, given the two religions’ very different attitudes to icons and imagery. Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, makes no bones about exploiting the images of its deities. The powerful and often visceral images of Christ, and the invariably erroneous images of the Madonna and Child, are central to the Church’s propaganda. By contrast, Islam guards against such crassness by forbidding any visual depiction of Mohammed, Peace be Upon Him, in any form (be it High Art, cartoons, or the modern medium of teddy bear).
So creating a disrespectful image for one religion is not really comparable to creating a similar image for another, because the critique and satire that underpins the artist’s intent in one context, is not always applicable to another. I agree with Andrew that these artists tend to be ‘poseurs’, and in other areas, I’m sure that one can make the “would you do it for Islam?” comparison. But unfortunately, that argument doesn’t hold for icons and iconoclasm.