Pilgrim High School officials ordered a portion of a painting by 17-year-old artist Liz Bierendy to be painted over. The work, which was supposed to show the progression of someone into adulthood, was just way too controversial. School officials said “the depiction of a young man’s development from boyhood through adulthood as displayed may not represent the life experiences of many of the students at Pilgrim High School.” The assistant principal “asked her to look at other ways to show the outcome of the subject’s progression to adulthood.”
So at this point you’re probably wondering just what in the world the teenager did to offend the sensibilities of the school administration. Did the subject of the painting end up on drugs, in prison, in a polygamous cult? Just what was so obscene and shocking that it wasn’t fitting to be displayed on the walls of a public high school?
Well, you may want to be sitting down. I will put this as gently as I am able.
The painting depicts … a man getting married and, yes it gets worse, becoming a father.
I know it’s difficult to process, but you can certainly imagine just why the school had to paint that over. I mean, it’s one thing that such things as marriage and procreation are legal in our culture. But should public schools really celebrate them?
I’m sure we all agree that this disgusting example has no place being displayed on the walls of a school where not everyone has a father. You might point out that the artist in question is raised by a single mother. Probably she just loathes herself and needs some counseling. How hurtful, how very hurtful, to portray a young man as growing up to be a father.
I pray that we’ve all learned a valuable lesson about the danger of art.
(Photo via WPRO.)