Iranian Artist’s Gay Work Sparks Scandal

Iranian-born artist Sooreh Hera caused a stir in The Netherlands last month.

The artist had been invited to show her work at the Hague Gemeentemuseum, but found herself censored when curator Wim van Krimpen objected to two images, including the one above, that depicted gay Muslim men. van Krimpen’s explanation ranges from fear of reprisals to simple criticism: “[the pieces] just aren’t that good,” he said.

Hera, meanwhile, hopes the scandal will open people’s eyes:

Sexuality and religion has been my theme for years… I know what I am doing.

On Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007, in the middle of the night, Makvan Mouloodzadeh was hung in Iran for homosexuality. That is a clear signal from the Iranian regime. I take it that men in Teheran have heard about me. And I view the hanging of Makvan as their answer. The Mullahs exhibit clearly that they have no sense of human rights, for the freedom of the West and respect for homosexuals. The Iranian government sees my artwork as an attack on their Shari’a. I hope that this signal will also be heard in the Western world…

It may be heard, but it won’t be seen…