The Holy Virgin Mary Essay

2247 Words9 Pages
What a sensation was made about the Sensation exhibition in the Brooklyn Museum of Art. The focus of Mayor Giuliani's outcry was the piece "The Holy Virgin Mary" by Chris Ofili. Funny, he didn't give attention to some of the other outrageous works including the pubescent female mannequins studded with erect penises, vaginas, and anuses, fused together in various postures of sexual coupling, or the portrait of a child molester and murder made from what appears like child hand prints or bisected animals in plexiglass tanks full of formaldehyde. Would it ever have made headlines with a different title, like "Afro-lady"? I don't think so. I guess targeting religion gets a little too personal. Giuliani said, "You don't have the right to…show more content…
If you think about it, many African cultures had no use for gold until the Europeans came along. But in America, dung is a bad, nasty thing. We even have pooper scoopers for our house pets' excretions on public property. No one should have to deal with that! No, no one wants to see poop! We use gold to gild halos on our saints. Poop? How atrocious! You can't use feces in art! But, how many people know that artists used human urine as a fixative in pigments of religious works such as the Last Supper and the ceilings of the Vatican? How many know that Old Master painters used mummy brown, yep you guessed it, a pigment consisting of pulverized Egyptian mummies? No one complains about shadows in 18th century paintings of the Virgin being made out of dead people. As for the porn pictures, they suggest putti just as the Virgin Mary's symbology reflects fertility.
So what's the big deal? Do you think people get too focused on the medium instead of the message? Does it matter what material the artist is using to get the message across? What is acceptable? The norm would be oil, different types of earth, egg, rock and wood.
Let's take a look at a little history in medieval art. There was a movement towards the end of the first millennium called Iconoclasm. This factor hated images and icons which were believed to be endowed with mysterious powers that could work miracles by intervention from the saints. This Iconoclastic Controversy defined and declined the creation of
Get Access