Hindus are supporting Catholics upset over the controversial Our Lady of Guadalupe painting currently exhibiting in a Santa Fe (New Mexico) art gallery.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, stressed that artists should be more sensitive while handling faith related subjects. Casual flirting sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols and hurting the devotees.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged “Eye on the Mountain Art Gallery”, and its owner Rachel Houseman to immediately remove the controversial painting “The Three Goddesses in One” from its “Guadalupe Group Art Show” which opened on December 12 and scheduled to continue till February 12, described as “12 artists, one sacred icon…Guadalupe”.
Rajan Zed further said that religious symbols and concepts thrown around loosely in reimagined versions for dramatic effects or other selfish agendas with no scriptural backing could be disturbing to the devotees.
Moreover, necklace of skulls worn by Guadalupe in the painting taken from Hindu goddess Kali (as stated by its artist Paz Winshtein) was trivialization of the Hindu goddess who was highly revered and widely worshipped in Hinduism personifying Shakti or divine energy and was considered the goddess of time and change, Zed noted, and added that it was highly inappropriate.
Rajan Zed indicated that besides removing the said painting from display, gallery owner and artist should offer formal apology also for such absurd depiction of religious icons.
Religions welcomed artists to immerse in religion but taking it seriously and respectfully and not just for indecorous showing of symbols and concepts to advance their selfish agenda. No faith, larger or smaller, should be ridiculed at, Zed stated.
Eye on the Mountain Art Gallery, which claims to be “Santa Fe’s Premier Sacred and Visionary Fine Art Gallery” featuring “Sacred & Visionary Art” founded in 2004 in Prescott (Arizona), features “unique art” from a collective of over 20 artists. “A Gallery with Soul”, its mission includes “to provide a unique experience of the sacred for all beliefs” and its purpose includes “art that centers on the spiritual experience”. Houseman, with a Master’s in Art Therapy, describes herself as an “artist, visionary, healer and gallery owner”. Award winning California artist Paz, whose other paintings include “Saint Making Machine”, believes that “art is a way of bringing new ideas into the world”.