Anti-Christ or Artistic Angst: Pope and Catholic Activists Seeks Removal of Kippenberger Art Piece of Crucified Frog

An art museum in Bolzano, Italy has refused demands from Catholics, including Pope Benedict XVI to take down and no longer show “Zuerst die Fuesse” (“First the Feet”), an art piece by the late German artist Martin Kippenberger showing a crucified frog. The frog’s eyes are shown popping out and his tongue sticking out. He wears a loincloth and holds a mug of beer and an egg in its hands.

The pope wrote a letter to Franz Pahl, the president of the Trentino-Alto Adige region and an activist who has engaged in a hunger strike to bring down the art piece. He quotes the letter from the Pope as saying that the artist “has offended the religious feelings of many people who consider the cross a symbol of God’s love and of our redemption.”

One can certainly see why the 3-foot sculpture would be offensive to Catholics and other Christians, though supporters insist that it is not a religious statement but an ironic self-portrait of the artist and his angst. The museum explained that “With humor and a tragicomic sense, which belongs to art since the times of Greek tragedy, Kippenberger … faces his condition of suffering, which he expresses in many works, also, for example, in a video in which he crucifies himself.”

Somehow I do not think the explanation will help.

For the full story, click here.

46 thoughts on “Anti-Christ or Artistic Angst: Pope and Catholic Activists Seeks Removal of Kippenberger Art Piece of Crucified Frog”

  1. Gyges
    1, August 31, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    All I’m saying is that one shouldn’t make up their mind based on a photograph from a bad angle. A lot of detail gets lost, also it’s hard to get a good idea of the scale of the piece.

    Thanks Gyge, but there is no angle or light that could improve my impression of a frog holding a beer beyond that of a trival knick knack I could purchase at the local Flying J gift shop.

    In whatever light or view you care to provide of it, it would still find no higher place in my home, than my “Jackalope” piggy bank.

  2. CroMM,

    All I’m saying is that one shouldn’t make up their mind based on a photograph from a bad angle. A lot of detail gets lost, also it’s hard to get a good idea of the scale of the piece. I don’t generally define art based on my likes and dislikes, there’s a lot of art that doesn’t appeal to my sense of aesthetics. I’m not a huge fan of Wagner’s music, but I still consider it art. I generally follow the school of thought that what defines art is a combination of skill and intent.

  3. In honor of Gustave I recommend ‘Jack’! Frogs legs taste like…
    …frogs legs – yummmmy!

    And I recommend non-slip shoes for my horses’ frogs – everytime.

    Cooking Louisiana – Fried Frog Legs

    Fried Frog Legs are a very popular dish in South Louisiana. Oh I know “those poor little frogs”, well…. I’ve heard people say ” try them, they taste like chicken”, hey, they taste like frog legs to me…. whatever…

    This is a “tight crust” recipe so greasiness is at a minimum!

    This recipe will fry about 1 doz. medium Frog Legs.

    Frog Leg preparation:Frog Legs

    Wash the legs, season them and keep them cool. That’s it.

    Wet mix
    2 eggs
    2/3 cup of milk
    1 tbs. Creole Seasoning (your choice)
    1/2 tsp. garlic powder
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1 tsp. hot sauce
    1 tsp. cayenne pepper
    Salt and fresh ground black pepper.

    Put legs in wet mix. Mix it all up and marinade it for 30 or more minutes in the ice box.

    Dry Mix
    2 cups corn flour (see note 1) or fish fry, or just plain flour.
    3/4 cup cornstarch (makes it stick better)
    2 Tbs. Creole Seasoning
    1/2 tsp Salt
    1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
    1/2 tsp. Cayenne
    1 tsp lemon and pepper seasoning

    Don’t hesitate to adjust any of the above to your liking…


    Dredge the legs in the dry mix and let sit a minute or so moving them around just a little. Using a paper bag works good for this too. Just drop the legs in and shake it up a few times.

    Use peanut oil, about 2″ in the pan depending upon the pan depth. Heat to 365ºF (hot oil will burn you badly, be careful). Place legs in the oil a few at a time leaving at least a 1/2″ space between pieces. Why? If you pack the pan with too much meat the oil cools too much and that equals soggy legs (not good). Stir them around every 10 seconds or so.Frog Legs

    Timing: Cook them about 5 minutes. I watch the bubbling to judge the doneness, I don’t time it. Let them fry until they bubble lightly. If they quit bubbling completely they’re overcooked. With practice you can get each piece done perfectly. You cannot tell how done the legs are by the outer color, it’s all in the bubbles! Check this out….

    Remove the legs and place on paper towels. Move them around so the grease is soaked up. Taste one once they’re cooled a little to see if you need to add any seasoning. Transfer them to another pan with more paper towels and cover with paper towels.

    Let the oil come back to 350ºF for the next batch! Remember, the oil cools as you cook. If you don’t have a frying thermometer get one, guessing just don’t get it! If the oil gets too hot turn the fire off, or lower, and let it cool to the right temperature. If the oil smokes you’ve probably ruined it. A thermometer prevents all of this trouble.

    Note 1: I am lucky enough to be able to get corn flour from a wholesale distributor. A 20lb. sack costs about $5.00. You can also use a commercially sold fish fry mix which uses the same basic ingredients. It’s mostly corn flour (read the ingredients), and comes seasoned and unseasoned. You can also mix corn meal and flour and that works okay too. Corn meal is coarser than corn flour, hence the name, “corn flour”. Corn flour is pulverized corn meal.

    Note 2: To keep the food warm put the oven on 200°F (or as low as it will go) and let it warm up about 15 minutes. Cover the legs with paper towels (not plastic wrap) or loosely with foil, turn the oven off, and put the pan in the oven. If you seal the pan with plastic wrap or foil the legs will become soggy. If you leave the oven on they will dry out too much. This only works for so long. After a few re-heats the legs will dry out anyway.

    Warning: This is nothin’ but good!

    This is just the way I fry frog legs. I’d like to see the way you do it. Send me your recipe.




    Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to post here?

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  4. By the way Gyge, your 2:02 PM comment was a frank and reasonable comment on it.

    Like I said, I don’t like the piece because to me it doesn’t constitute art. But I also have no real problem with it. As I said early on, the Pope should just drop it and let it go.

    Its not that big of a deal, and Churches only hurt themselves and draw more attention to it when they make a mountain out of these molehills.

  5. Gyge, seriously, I don’t like his work. Doesn’t mean anything, just my preference. Art is subjective and we cannot fault someone for not liking someones work, or demand that they like it. All I’m doing is having a little fun with it. Hopefully you can see that.

    By the way, the word “reoccuring” is incorrectly spelled. It should be “recurring”.

    Don’t mean to correct you but you know how Patty apparently is about typographical errors.


    After all she spent half the night lambasting me for them, so I wouldn’t want you to incur her wrath.

  6. Gyges said..

    Both the Frog and beer mug, seem to be a reoccurring theme in his work

    Yes, an it is also a recurring theme found in novelty and knick knack shops located in better truck stops and motels all throughout the country.

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