Impressionist Painting Attacked In Gay-Bashing
“Two Tahitian Women,” a painting created by French impressionist Paul Gauguin in 1899, was attacked during an exhibition at the National Gallery in Washington last week. The work of art, worth an estimated 80 million dollars, depicts two native Tahitian women, both topless, with mango blossoms.
I happen to think the painting is magnificently executed, but one woman was slightly more critical. Startling gallery visitors with a loud shriek, she marched up to the painting and began screaming “this is evil” before attempting to pull it from the wall, pounding its protective plexiglass shield with her fists.
The assailant, identified as Susan Burns, was eventually detained by security and has been charged with attempted theft and destruction of property. Her court documents offered the following explanation:
I feel that Gauguin is evil. He has nudity and it is bad for the children. He has two women in the painting and it’s very homosexual.
Personally, I hadn’t assumed the painting depicts a lesbian relationship, but part of the beauty of art lies in its interpretation. I guess Susan just isn’t very impressed by impressionists. She’s more into surreal expressionism, I’d say.
- ‘Nudity, homosexuality’ sparked Gauguin attack: court [Agence France-Presse]
- National Gallery visitor attacks Gauguin painting, officials say [Washington Post]