Shock: Toronto art exhibit features bullet-riddled pope

Offensive doesn’t begin to describe this idea.  You can see pictures from the exhibit here.


An upcoming art exhibit in Toronto could raise eyebrows with its use of violent images involving people such as U.S. President Barack Obama and Pope Benedict XVI.

A series of 30 paintings and four sculptures by Peter Alexander Por is scheduled to open at the Bezpala Brown Gallery on Feb. 5. Titled Persona Non Grata – The Veil of History, the exhibit is intended to portray “the story of oppression, pain, suffering, persecution and death,” according to a statement from the art gallery released Thursday.

Among the paintings to be displayed is one of the Pope, in which the portrait is riddled with bullet holes. The gallery said this particular work is “a less than subtle expression of the hurt and anger directed at a pontiff and an institution that has abandoned its flock, choosing to focus on dogma while its subjects suffer and, in many instances, die from its archaic policies.”

Obama is shown nailed to a cross, with the gallery saying he is cast as “a victim, crucified in the wake of special and distorted interests.”

Por is a Toronto artist who was born in Hungary during the Second World War and raised a Catholic.

There’s more here.


  1. funny thing about life… I don’t feel abandoned, you know? lol, I haven’t met anyone who died of dogma (?) and I don’t know what church he’s talking about but we don’t have archaic policies and no catholic died of following “archaic policies”. Maybe he’s just nuts and he has created an imaginary church in his head??

  2. something to be said for the way the muslims would handle this.

  3. …..although the gallery site seems to have suspended the exhibition in question already.

  4. As I began reading this post, I just knew that the artist was “raised Catholic”. Mr. Por is now in my prayers.

  5. Robert C, do you have a link for the info that the gallery has suspended the exhibit?

    This is ill. Right wing nut jobs post hate speech like this on their websites, and they’re rightly condemned and subject to government surveillance. Left wing nut jobs create this and it’s called art and exhibited in trendy galleries.

    Of course, they’ll use “raised a Catholic” as cover for their support for bigotry and hate speech.

  6. romancrusader says:

    There’s something about the Pope that’s so offensive to the left. His existence is what offends the left so much. The left pretty much intends to be offended by anything the Pope says so they attempt to castigate him. This artist isn’t exactly exercising intellectual honesty if you ask me.

  7. Fr. Deacon Daniel says:

    How sad and tragic that this is even being given a place to be displayed to the public.

  8. pagansister says:

    Whether one likes it or not, the artist is expressing what he feels. Folks who might find it offensive need not go to the exhibit. I’m sure that “art” through the ages has drawn approval and disapproval. I really don’t think the folks who create art set out to make it appealing to all viewers. The more publicity given this, the more it will draw some folks to it, if for no other reason but curiosity.

  9. Pagansister,

    I seem to remember when the Congresswoman was shot in Arizona, the political left made much of Sarah Palin’s campaign ad showing the congresswoman in crosshairs, though the image was meant to target her politically.

    This image leaves no room for error about the “artist’s” intent. It is sick and depraved. If this crap is what passes for art in Canada, then they are truly bereft of culture, dignity, and decency. This is the sort of garbage that one would expect of an adolescent with a severe case of psychopathology.

    Were such “art” depicting a sitting head of state put on display in the same nation, doubt the security personnel would be echoing your sentiments. I agree with Robert C. What would the muslims do if that were a bullet-riddled Mohammad.

    Better still, I doubt any government on this planet would permit the exhibition of a bullet-riddled Mohammed. So there’s our answer.

  10. Young Canadian RC Male says:

    I wonder if this painter was influenced by the recently revealed 3rd secret of Fatima where supposedly a pope is assasinated on a hill (perhaps by bullets or firing squad?)

    Dr. Nadal, don’t be suprised at this passing for art in Canada. Culturally, Canada in many ways is a mirror of American Culture, just we are a little behind on the times. We’re like the first wave of the ripple effect. Someone drops the pebble in the lake in America and we’re your neighbours who get that first ripple our way.

    Oh and no surprise again with Toronto. The Downtown is in parts so liberal-artsy-fartsy friendy due to 1) OCAD, the Ontario College of Art and Design, 2) U of T, 3) Art Gallery of Ontario, and 4) Our city’s acceptance of homosexual everything. Yearly Pride Parade, nuff said.

    Romancrusader, its because he is a literal and symbolic proclamation of the Truth of Christ. The Church has always been against the world, and those in it or in love with sin and themselves HATE Him because he spouts the very things they don’t want to hear. They would love it if he either went away in any shape or form or made us Catholics accept the world and live secularly in it.

  11. While taking my child on a tour of a college considered to be the “Harvard” of art schools, I was struck by a poster hanging in an academic office that mocked and defamed the Catholic Church and it’s teachings in a predictable and juvenile way. In addition to giving the impression of unwelcome to students of faith, it showed that it’s standards of communication, creativity and culture were impoverished… and this is where our “best and brightest” are being trained.

    If this Toronto exhibit weren’t so violent in it’s content, I would just chalk it up to bad, uninspiring “art” and ignore it.

  12. Moonshadow says:

    Belen, I suppose the “archaic policies” pertain to condoms in the face of STDs and AIDS. This artist is a bit behind the times, then, as Benedict has spoken out on that matter recently.

    This isn’t art to me, but I don’t see “bullet holes,” exactly – no blood oozing, e.g., so it’s some other type of hole, maybe to show some hollowness?

    And what romancrusader said about the left is really off-base. S/he must not know any Roman Catholic lefties.

  13. Deacon Greg says:

    One has to suspect that the artist has such talent that he can only attract attention with the notorious and sensational. Also, so blinded by today’s culture of death that he cannot see the true beauty and glory of our RC. faith. So very many in our world want to paint our church with such a large brush over the weakness of some. The Lord Himself put it best: ” Beware of false prophets.” I for one know that my faith has brought me nothing but enlightenment and hope all my life.

Leave a Comment