Earlier this month, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery removed "A Fire in My Belly," a video by the late artist David Wojnarowicz that contains a crucifix with ants crawling on it and intermingles gay-related themes with Christianity, after conservative politicians including John Boehner complained and threatened to investigate and/or cut federal funding from the Smithsonian. Now, the Andy Warhol Foundation is threatening to cut its financing of Smithsonian exhibitions unless the institution puts "A Fire in My Belly" back in the exhibit from which it was removed. The Warhol Foundation isn't just understandably offended by the piece's removal, it's being cheated, since the foundation gave $100,000 to the Smithsonian for the exhibition "Hide/Seek," from which the work was removed. (Whereas, while the government funds the Smithsonian, it does not pay for individual exhibits and, obviously, John Boehner did not personally fund "Hide/Seek.") Warhol Foundation president Joel Wachs said that the foundation’s board voted unanimously to demand that the Smithsonian restore the work — or else! So, we'd make the joke that "you can't win," but, actually, in this case, the Smithsonian can win: by reinstating the video art, and telling John Boehner to stay out of the curating game.
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