Thursday, October 18, 2018

A painter examines Matthew Shepard's murder motived by hate, 20 years later

HIGH COUNTRY NEWS
By Katherine E. Standefer

In the painting, Matthew Shepard’s hands are finally free. He rises into the air surrounded by angels, each bearing the face of Saint Sebastian — patron saint of those who conceal their identities to avoid persecution. The angels’ wings stand tall and arched, like the wire and cloth wings Shepard’s friends wore at his funeral in 1998 in Laramie, Wyoming, to block out anti-gay protesters from the Westboro Baptist Church. Titled “The Ascension of Matthew Shepard,” the portrait is part of a series by painter Carl Grauer that seeks to honor pivotal leaders from the LGBTQ movement through religious iconography. (The full series will be unveiled in June to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, demonstrations in New York City.) [More]
“The Ascension of Matthew Shepard” by Carl Grauer challenges traditionally exclusive religious imagery by placing Shepard, the victim of a hate crime, in a place of reverence.