photo by Donald Holman
I had family that fought, and died, in WWII. My sainted grandmother had London property bombed and was forced to live in a bloody tube for nearly a year. They were desperate, brutal times for anyone that had their lives touched by the Third Reich and remains a permanent stain on our collective humanity. The swastika is a hateful reminder of our worst impulses that reside somewhere in all of us. And that's why it remains so provocative today.
The use of it in the cover art for Issue 67 is a challenging blend of techno fetishism and symbolism and is, for better or for worse, art. People are aghast at the use of such iconography. They are taken back by that sultry slice of goth glam in latex cozying up next to a Nazi flag. Excellent, because that would be the point. To challenge, to provoke thought and feeling at the same time. To draw out of the masses a visceral response that shakes the viewer up and questions its prima facie value. That is what artists, and art, is supposed to do... and that is what The Sinner is supposed to do as well.
People who consider this a blatant wave to fascism or think that The Sinner is a rag full of Nazi apologists simply need to go to bed, please. The Sinner, ironically, is perhaps the best advocate of everything that Nazi Germany was against: speech and the right to speak critically of ones government, sexual exploration and freedom, reveling in individualism and expression outside the confines of polite society... The Sinner represents, in my opinion, the highest ideals that represent an enlightened culture.
Art is subjective, as is The Sinner itself. It would be a mistake to think of the cover art, or The Sinner, as sympathetic to Nazism. If you have issue with the art then that is your privilege. But don't even think for a second that any of us have been romanced by the notion of fascism or condone the atrocities representative of the era.
Don't let blind, vicious ignorance determine your intellectual and cultural worth. Let art be art, let expression be expression, and hang the rest.