Controversy Doesn’t Stop at Climate Change for Divisive Bismarck Artist

Yesterday, I wrote about a proposal being pulled to put a mural in downtown Bismarck of 17-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. Local wet plate artist Shane Balkowitsch had submitted the idea to the Renaissance Zone Authority. The mural would have featured a portrait done by Balkowitsch when Thunberg visited Standing Rock last year.

Initially, it seemed the mural may become a reality. But after threats of boycotts, it quickly became apparent that downtown Bismarck wasn’t the place to honor the leftist icon.

As it turns out, Greta Thunberg may be far from the only controversial piece that Balkowitsch has done. As you can see by viewing his online archives, there’s a number of wet plate images that cause one to question what it is he’s is trying to accomplish?

For example, consider the 2017 image portraying Jesus— titled “Temptationis Oblitus” (Latin for “Testing Forgot”). It doesn’t exactly come across as pro-Christian to me. But I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

This image is all the more confusing when we consider the one in which he does a 2015 portrait of University of Mary President, Monsignor James P. Shea. Why, on the one hand, would Balkowitsch make a mockery of the Son of God, while doing a wet plate of a Catholic priest on the other? How does that make any sense?

Then there’s the 2017 image portraying Donald Trump as some sort of transgender-like figure. It’s titled, “Donald Trump – ‘POTUS Revealed'”.

While it’s no surprise that a leftist like Balkowitsch — who’s “against fracking, against oil” and wants to “immortalize” Thunberg — would mock Trump, isn’t the portrayal of him as a transgender with a Hitler mustache offensive to the LGBTQ community?

But hey, I don’t pretend to understand art— especially this kind.

(Photo Credit: Shane Balkowitsch — Censored for Publication)



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About T. Arthur Mason 883 Articles
T. Arthur Mason is a native North Dakotan who has spent nearly all of his life in the Peace Garden State. As the third of four children in Western North Dakota, Mason grew to appreciate family and the outdoors. Some of his fondest memories are annual deer hunts with family and friends. In his early teenage years, faith became a central part of T. Arthur Mason's life. He and the majority of his family attend church together on a weekly basis and find this a fulfilling aspect of their lives. Through the influence of his father, T. Arthur Mason became intrigued with politics. As a boy, he attended political events with his father and enjoyed the friendships that resulted as a byproduct of those political associations. As Mason grew older, he became convinced that the quote often attributed to Thomas Jefferson was true, "That government is best which governs least." Today, T. Arthur Mason enjoys time with his wife and children, an occasional hunt, and an increasingly active life on the political scene. This blog is the fulfillment of a dream to design a web site in the realm of politics and to advocate for the principles of Liberty and constitutionally limited government. On behalf of all those that contribute to The Minuteman, we hope you enjoy your time on the site and will share the message with others.