University of Cincinnati fine arts grad student Harry Sanchez, Jr. has an entirely different definition of art from the rest of the country. For his class project, he hung an American flag upside down and then balled up another one and hung it from a noose — and voilà, art?
“It’s not like an attack on anyone in particular,” Sanchez said of his work. “Our country is in distress. People have issues with each other. You can see the polarity with people, so one side or the other.”
Though most are standing by Sanchez’s First Amendment rights, some aren’t exactly onboard with considering this real art and some are downright angry.
“Give the flag like that to someone that served this country,” Steven Walker challenged on Facebook. “You don’t have the balls asshole.”
“What a worthless piece of sh*t!” Jeremy Gaffney wrote. “Get a real job. Art isn’t your thing, trust me.”
“Your art is unimaginative and boring,” Jonathan Bingham said.
Jerome Hall added, “People like you are why ‘art’ is dead.”
According to EAGnews.org, a fellow UC student and Army veteran, Thomas Mooney, hung up pictures of his own near the “art” display of the American flag draped over military caskets alongside images from different wars. He said he did so because the flag “represents the sacrifice that so many people died for that freedom.”
“I want to be very adamant that I do support the freedom of speech and everyone is entitled to exercise that right,” Mooney added. “I just wanted to remind the person who did this what the flag means to certain people.”
A spokesman for the university stood by the art, stating:
The display is part of an art class project by students, and it is designed to stimulate conversation about First Amendment freedoms. The University of Cincinnati is a public institution and members of the public as well as members of the campus community may express their views, so long as they remain within university policy and state law.
As a public institution, we maintain a public trust to protect the First Amendment.
Sanchez posted a picture of his project to Facebook and revealed that he is very proud of it: