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Is he the most dangerous artist in Brooklyn?

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For Joshua Stulman, it’s pretty black and white.

In his new show, opening May 24 at Pratt Institute, the Brooklyn artist critically examines the use of Islam to justify terrorist actions.

In black, white and grey colors reminiscent of cartoons from the 1930s, Stulman’s pieces depict a cartoon figure wearing a turban tiptoeing about with a bomb that reads, “Made in Iran” in one. In another, the figure is placing child soldiers, all piled up like toys, in a “baby bomber launcher” — a comment on child indoctrination that’s prevalent in the artist’s work.

The cartoon character used in the majority of the pieces is based on a real person — Amin al-Husseini (also referred to as Mohammed Amin al-Husseini in history books).

Al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem from 1921-1948 was a Palestinian nationalist with ties to the Nazi party. To Stulman, though, he lives on as nothing less than the father of Islamic radicalism, a militant who used suicide squads to rid Palestine of any dissenters and proclaimed a holy war against Israel when it declared statehood.

“Yasser Arafat has claimed him as the pinnacle — the greatest hero of Palestinian people,” said Stulman. “He created so much harm [yet] is the pinnacle that people should aspire to? There’s a correlation between the past and the present, where terrorist groups are using this guy as a poster boy.”

Stulman’s pieces are not just a criticism of the perversion of Islam to justify terrorist actions or of childhood indoctrination, but of the art community as a whole.

“I’m more concerned about the lack of support I see in the fine arts community for these political issues, such as childhood indoctrination, women’s rights and gay rights,” said Stulman. “There are major issues of censorship, especially with cartoons. You can’t say anything about certain things in Islam, which I don’t feel is right.”

Stulman himself is no stranger to censorship. While a student at Penn State University in 2006, the school cancelled an exhibition of his that explored Palestinian terrorist culture on the grounds that it “did not promote cultural diversity” or “opportunit­ies for democratic dialogue.”

Stulman hopes that his new show, whose title, “How to Paint Moo-Ham-Mud” is a comment on the challenges artists face in criticizing Islam, will use subtle imagery rather than violence to appeal to people’s logic, rather than their heartstrings.

“I’m not interested in showing someone all bloodied up because of how horrible [terrorism] is. That’s too easy,” said Stulman, who is Jewish. “These use the comic format, but they’re really quite serious, even if it looks like they don’t want to be.”

“How to Paint Moo-Ham-Mud” at the Steuben Gallery in the Juliana Curran Design Center at Pratt Institute [200 Willoughby Ave. between Steuben Street and Graham Avenue in Clinton Hill, (718) 636-3514], May 24-28, with an opening night reception from 6-9 pm. For more, visit www.joshuastulman.com.

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Reader Feedback

Zed from NYC says:
This is a timely issue and deserves more promotion especially in wake of the Mosque that will be built at ground zero. People do not realize the danger of Islam.

See:
A Mosque at Ground Zero Equals Victory
http://www.hudsonny.org/2010/05/mosque-at-ground-zero-equals-victory.php
May 19, 2010, 8:37 am
Mother Stulman from Home says:
So boring
May 19, 2010, 9:05 am
Jeremy from Bushwick says:
How about some cartoons of Menachem Begin, who blew up train stations full of Palestinians to get them out of their country so foreign Jews could live in it instead? This kid should be the official cartoonist of Joe Lieberman.

Arabs/Muslims bad Jews good no matter what. Get a new narrative, this one is tired and losing.
May 19, 2010, 10:55 am
Harry from Brooklyn says:
Agree w/Jeremy.
Get a new narrative, and a grip.
May 20, 2010, 11:36 pm
arwen from not around here says:
Err, is his name Joseph or Joshua, please?
May 21, 2010, 6:35 am
enufalready! from gowanus says:
So sick of the fear-mongering about Islams. Why shouldn't there be a mosque at ground zero? (One of the most beautiful edifices I have ever seen is the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.) All the warfare going on right now people is not about catching this person or that, or about fighting terrorism - it's about domination of natural resources, territory. Follow the money, plain and simple, as it has always been.
May 22, 2010, 12:21 pm
Ethan from Kensington says:
As a fellow cartoonist, I absolutely respect the right of Mr. Stulman to say and draw what he wants.

I respect the right of Pratt Institute to give a platform to whatever artist they choose, and I respect the right of the Brooklyn Paper to run an ignorant review of tedentious and asinine art without challenging it in any way.

That being said, with freedom comes responsibility.

What would Mr. Stulman say to an art show done by a Muslim artist about how Jews, and David Ben Gurion in particular, are kikes who made up the Holocaust in order to establish the State of Israel in a place where they could better use the blood of Palestinian babies to make their matzoh?

Would he respect the right of the artist to make such statements?

Would Pratt Institute give such art an exhibition?

Would the Brooklyn Paper run a review of such art without challenging those assertions or getting a dissenting view point?

Ultimately, Mr. Stulman and his art come off as ignorant and childish. One can only hope that some day he learns more about Palestine, Islam and history and comes to regret his choices.
May 22, 2010, 7:13 pm
Margaret from Gowanus says:
Thank you, Ethan. Well said.
May 22, 2010, 10:30 pm
Holly from not aroundhere says:
Joshua has some splainin' to do over on a forum he is active on

http://forums.toynewsi.com/index.php?showtopic=2073271
May 23, 2010, 2:23 am
soundmethod from manhattan says:
Anyone who would deny the Holocaust has certainly wasted his/her money on their education. Does Israel exploit the Holocaust? Hell yes. But to deny it never happened is dangerous. That is like Jews telling non Jews that there is not a Genocide going on in Palestine.
As far as this article,I do not believe in any form of censorship of any kind.
May 23, 2010, 9:10 pm
soundmethod from manhattan says:
Anyone who would deny the Holocaust has certainly wasted his/her money on their education. Does Israel exploit the Holocaust? Hell yes. But to deny it never happened is dangerous. That is like Jews telling non Jews that there is not a Genocide going on in Palestine.
As far as this article,I do not believe in any form of censorship of any kind.
May 23, 2010, 9:10 pm
pbuh from Iran says:
Well Ethan/magaret, maybe you haven't seen Mr. Stulman's 2006 cartoon Der Ewige Jude from his censored portraits of terror series. www.joshuastulman.com
May 23, 2010, 9:18 pm
Jihad from Jihad says:
It's unbelievable for people to make outlandish statements without knowing anything or doing any research. That is the definition of ignorant and uneducated. Mr. Stulman has a vast repertoire of knowledge that shows his work is not just childish cartoons but rather history and fact (and controversial) based artwork. Anyone can google his credentials to find out that all of his work has meaning, is researched, and although not everyone agrees with it, is far from ignorant. People who don't do simple research, even as simple as googling someone's name, is truly ignorant (Ethan)
May 24, 2010, 3:32 pm
Ethan from Kensington says:
Yeah, nothing you've said and nothing I've seen from Stulman convinces me that I've made any mistake. I don't think Stulman's credentials research or claims prove him to be anything other than illinformed about Palestine, Islam, or the idiotic Mufti.

Here is an interesting article from Le Monde about how the Mufti has been puffed up by Zionists into this scary Nazi monster and what little evidence there is for that:
http://mondediplo.com/2010/05/14blamethemufti
May 28, 2010, 9:12 am

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