Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The controversy of Mary

The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996
Chris Ofili (British, b.1968)

In celebration of Banned Books Week, I am going to focus on banned or controversial artists. Oh how we wish these recognition weeks weren't necessary but continued controversy over books such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland and Tango Makes Three still persist. I'll always remember the controversy set by the Sensation show at the Brooklyn Museum in New York in 1999. Then mayor, Rudolph Giuliani, denounced the show without even seeing it and one of the most talked about works (despite some much more difficult and actually disturbing work in the show) was Chris Ofili's, The Holy Virgin Mary. The work was actually defaced with white paint by a man in the gallery.

"Chris Ofili's Holy Virgin Mary" by Jerry Saltz (artnet magazine 10-8-99)

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