OC Weekly

Confederate Flag Flies for Laguna Exhibit

G. Ray Kerciu Painted His Gut Reaction to Hatred and Misery in 1962

Flags fly in Laguna Beach starting Saturday — if by "battle flags" you mean "images of the Confederate flag in two paintings" and by "Laguna Beach" you mean "Laguna Art Museum" and by "flying" you meaning "hanging on walls."

Beginning Saturday and continuing through Sept. 27, Laguna Art Museum displays two paintings by G. Ray Kerciu — a Laguna Beach artist and president emeritus of the museum's Board of Trustees — that prominently depict the Confederate flag.

Kerciu was a young professor at the University of Mississippi in 1962 when he painted Never and Ho as part of a series of his works reacting to the racially charged atmosphere around the admission of the university's first African-American student, James Meredith.

"I had to do something," explained Kerciu during an interview on the occasion of "G. Ray Kerciu: Radical Retrospective," a 2013 exhibition at Cal State Fullerton's Begovich Gallery which our Dave Barton reviewed. "It was a gut reaction, an intuitive reaction to hatred and misery." Continue reading.

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