Andres Serrano (some NSWF images) has made controversial art for decades, with his piece Piss Christ causing controversy shortly after it was created in 1987. In 1989, the photograph initiated outrage against the National Endowment for the Arts because of "anti-Christian bigotry". Then the piece was physically attacked two times in one weekend, when it was first shown in the National Gallery of Victoria in 1997. In December 2010, the Collection Lambert museum of contemporary art in Avignon, France opened a show called "I Believe in Miracles" that includes pieces of minimal art, conceptual art and land art, and includes Piss Christ. The photograph had been shown in France before without disturbance, and had been shown without incident in Collection Lambert for four months, but around 1,000 protesters marched to the museum on Saturday, and on Sunday vandals succeeded in attacking the picture, breaking the plexiglass shield and slashing the photograph. The museum is open again, and the damaged work is still on display. [more inside]
Tom Sanford, a NY based artist, has created paintings depicting pop-culture icons before, but none have created a "regular trickle of hate mail/criticism" like this one. [more inside]
Polyvore is a website that lets you mix and match online images to make fashion sets and collages. While it has received favour from Web 2.0 pundits, fashion bloggers, and major craft blogs, it has also drawn massive ire from artists that claim copyright infringement and use of personal photos. The anti-Polyvore pressure mainly comes from Etsy sellers, with some support from artists on DeviantArt, Red Buddle, and independent artists - all coming together on Flickr. We Heart It and Ffffound! are also seen as suspect. While Polyvore tries to assuage copyright fears, amidst growing pressure to shut down, many of Polyvore's current users are counter-petitioning for the site to stay.
Mark Leckey has won the Turner Prize. Quote: “I kind of hate the relationship the press in Britain has towards art,” he said. “I hate the way it’s all Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin and Banksy. They expect spectacle and shock. Art is not like that. The art world I know is not like that; it’s a whole other world.” [more inside]
The Spertus Museum/Spertus Institute for Jewish Studies has just canceled Imaginary Coordinates due to complaints that some of the artwork (NSFW: nudity, disturbing imagery) in the exhibit had an anti-Israeli slant. [more inside]
Gas chamber art shut down. Santiago Sierra whose controversial work (some NSFW, auf Deutsch) had taken a turn toward the holocaust, has suspended his latest work in response to criticism.
Tumbling Woman A statue of a falling woman designed as a memorial to those who jumped or fell to their death from the World Trade Center was abruptly draped in cloth and curtained off Wednesday because of complaints that it was too disturbing. It's all right if you don't want to discuss it here and now. I was also in NYC and saw the towers on that day.
Famous urinal now 84 years old "When did it stop being true that an artist is somebody who can do something more or less well which the rest of us can only do badly or not at all?" -- Tom Stoppard