Writer Vine Deloria and Navajo artist R.C. Gorman (painter and printmaker; quite distinctive style) both died recently. Deloria wrote Custer Died for Your Sins - I always thought that was a great title, and I enjoyed that book, though some of his later writings veered into the seriously flaky.
Gorman was venerated as an “icon” in New Mexico. “The Picasso of America” some called him. Probably because of his popularity, fame and wealth, he managed to get all the pedophilia charges against him over the years dropped, paid off, or hushed up during his lifetime. As this stuff was buried by his friends in high places and hushed up by the people who were profiting from selling his work, many more little boys continued to be victimized by him. The large FBI file recounting the “credible evidence” that he was sexually abusing children was closed because they said the cases they knew about had happened too long ago. The file has finally been made available and people are just starting to talk about it. Six men came forward and accused Gorman of sexually abusing them and they were paid off by Gorman in hush money up to close to a half a million dollars.
Other victims are now coming forward and, instead of empathy and support, they are being villified for daring to say such blasphemous things about wonderful R.C. Some of them feel like they are being victimized all over again by this treatment.
Not for long. As the evidence is fully presented in the media (finally… where were they until now??) and people are ready to listen to the ones who suffered from having sexual acts forced on them by this predator, I have a feeling that - well, I hope that - all these museums, galleries, hotel lobbies, doctors’ offices will quietly remove Gorman’s “art” from the wall.
I always thought his stuff was corny crap anyway. There’s also the emerging story about how he let his young friends do much of his painting for him and he’d sign it. The boys were honored to do it and who knows what Gorman asked from them in return for the favor.
How much is your “original Gorman” worth now, since you know it was painted by a guy who screwed a friend of mine when he was eleven years old? AND you know that there’s a good chance it’s a forgery anyway?
It depends… how good is the evidence that Gorman sexually abused children? For that matter, what is the evidence?
The FBI file and the Albuquerque Police Dept. file have enough evidence to convict him, but those events were too long ago and the statute of limitations protected him. Six guys who came forward early enough to charge him got paid off by Gorman to keep quiet. I’ve There is record of that, too. Gorman admitted to sex with a 13 year old boy but said he “didn’t know how old he was.” The guy I talked to at the police dept. estimated “hundreds of victims.” I heard stories in the mid 70s from a friend in the artsy world in NM who knew Gorman well. It’s amazing that it never came out. The cover up is the real story. And there is solid evidence about that, too.
My proof is my friend, who would have no reason to make this up. Gorman used to stay at their house. My friend has never sued the estate.
Oh. That kind of evidence. O.K., then. Thanks for the careful documentation of your accusations of a horrible crime against a dead man. What, exactly, does SDSAB mean when affixed to your name, again?
And here I was, amazed that Vine Deloria died again!
If this was bumped because something new has come out regarding the Gorman story, could you throw a girl a link?
The evidence came out long before Gorman died. The FBI file has just been made public, so you can get the evidence yourself. I think you’ll find it pretty convincing. I haven’t seen the police file, but apparently that’s out now, too. That Gorman paid off six of his accusers with hefty sums is undisputable. You’ll see more about all of this in the news media shortly. I stand by all I say.
The people protecting Gorman now are art gallery owners (and others who stand to lose a lot of money if his reputation is tarnished), those who worship and love being connected to the rich and famous and those who are stuck in denial about the fact that pedophiles come in all shapes and sizes. They can be talented artists (although, in this case, that’s debatable too…) and they can be your friends. Protecting people like him disrespects his victims and perpetuates the problem of pedophilia.
In this case, I’m with you. I really wish it had come out more before he died so that he could be held accountable. I expect this to be moved to the Pit now, which is probably the appropriate thing to do.
KRQE News in Albuquerque has been broadcasting shows about it lately. The show is “Larry Barker Investigates” which is part of the 10pm news. You should be able to google it and see the video. My friend was interviewed last night and a few weeks ago Barker did a show about the FBI file and police file. There’s a guy Vern Beachy who did a radio series about Gorman’s pedophilia some years ago in New Mexico. He lost his job shortly after that, but not sure if it was because of the story. I believe he has legal documents, letters, interviews with victims on his website. He was speaking out long before Gorman died. It’s amazing it didn’t come out in a big way before this.
This is the show from a couple of weeks ago. The one from last night should be posted soon.
Try this one: http://www.krqe.com/LarryBarker/
JillGat - I had no idea (when I made the original post, I mean)
Of course not. A lot of people with the power to do so made sure it never came out. Either the FBI or the police dept. (I can’t remember which - check Larry Barker’s broadcast) said they closed the case and didn’t pursue any of the more recent charges because they thought “it would appear they were targeting Gorman because he was rich and famous.” Another way to say that, I would think, is that he got away with it and was never charged for more recent incidents BECAUSE he was rich and famous. Now the art world and others are upset because the media is tarnishing Gorman’s reputation (and the dollar value of his art, one would presume) when the poor man is dead and cannot defend himself
This is a link to last night’s news show with the interview of my friend. Okay, I’ll rest my case now. Sorry to highjack your thread.