I was reminded of the Steve Cole show, ‘Literal’, at Bare Hands Gallery in Birmingham back in March 2010. I reached out to Steve last week to see what he’s up to now — his last show was last year during the pandemic, and he says while he’s reting from teachering, he plans to continue to make art and exhibit.
There was a handout with two pieces of research that were displayed prominently at the gallery, one regarding Armageddon, and the other about Alabamians specifically: 75% of Alabamians believe the Bible is literally true. (Rasmussen poll, August 2006)
This first piece is called “Adam and Eve’s Marriage Certificate”, and I haven’t had Av translate this from the original yet, but the handout has the translation as “Holy matrimony was celebrated between Adam and Eve on this day Six by authority of G-d.”
It’s signed there Sat(an), witness and (cherub), witness and then the line at the bottom is “What I have joined together, let no angel put asunder.”
‘Supernatural Disasters of 2007’:
Trying to Escape the Flames of Hell’:
This piece is called ‘Good Church / Bad Church’ in the handout but I think it is really the true church and false church. There’s also the symbolism of what each church’s foundation is resting on:
There’s one print that the artist made based on an inflammatory letter he received from the daughter of the “preacher” of Westboro Baptist Church (you know, the people with the dayglo posters with hateful slogans).
Sidenote: I was once at the synagogue in Jackson for services when they showed up. The police had the protesters a certain number of feet from the building so honestly if you didn’t know they were there you probably would have missed it entirely. I’m not sure what they were upset about, but they had the same signs you see on television, nothing customized for ‘us’.
When those same people showed up to protest at the Twitter offices in California in January that year, they were met with people holding these signs.
There are a number of archival inkjet prints as well, and they are available unframed in limited editions of 100:
From a review of one of his previous shows, ‘Believe’, it was written:
For those who believe that religious art has been pretty much turned over to hack illustrators and sincere drudges, this show serves as a shocking expose of how art can delve into the mean-spirited ignorance that can sway the ignorant and frightened. Cole does not preach. He does not ask the spectator to commit as much as he offers the opportunity to examine and think.