News__ ART VS. RELIGION

April 08, 2010 | By

10 year-old photographer-in-the-making, Jackson Potts II, has caused quite the media stir with his recent photograph, "Station 7." Potts II, who is the son of established photographer, Jackson Potts, submitted the photograph to the Xnihilo Gallery (which is connected with the progressive, Christian house of worship, Ecclesia Church) and although he was able to keep the photo up during the exhibition, it was immediately taken down due to its controversial imagery. The scene in "Station 7" is of a white police officer beating a child in front of a crowd of onlookers. The assignment was to create the artist's version of the final footsteps of Jesus Christ before he was crucified.

"Dad asked me whether I wanted to do an older interpretation, or modern, and I chose modern," Jackson told newspapers. "The police officer—he is just doing his job."

Although the gallery has supported "controversial" art in the past, church elders were worried that "Station 7" would "confuse impressionable children still learning about law-enforcement authorities" and that it would "upset a family of churchgoers still grieving over the loss of their mentally ill teenage son, who was killed in an officer-involved shooting last year."

Potts II, may have had his art removed from the gallery, but this event has also kick started his career. After local papers picked up the story it spread like wildfire. Potts was offered $350 for the piece by a Texas art collector, and 002 Houston Magazine, an arts and entertainment guide, made him a regular contributor.

Lesson? It never hurts to piss off the church.

Via WSJ

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