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Art or Just Plain Crap?

Art or Just Plain Crap? - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Dec 27, 2006
( Rating: 1 Star Rating)

Art challenges us to search our souls and minds by creating welcome (and not so welcome,) debate among our peers. But should we ever draw the line on offensive art? Kidzworld is letting you decide!

The great thing about artwork is that a million different people can interpret it in a million different ways. Art challenges us to search our souls and minds by creating welcome (and not so welcome,) debate among our peers. But are some artists out for shock value more than anything else? And if they are, is this an abuse of the artistic community? When should we, if ever, draw the line on offensive art? Kidzworld is going to let you decide!

Back in 1999, a controversial art exhibit called "Sensation" arrived at the Brooklyn Museum of Arts. It didn't take long for the show to receive tons of criticism from both the public and the mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani. Many, including the mayor, were outraged at pieces that used elephant feces and dead farm animals to portray the artists' disgust for the Christian religion.

Holy Virgin Mary drew the most attention from onlookers. The painting is a depiction of the Virgin Mary as a black woman and is splattered with elephant dung. Mayor Giuliani called the art exhibit "anti-Catholic," and because the Brooklyn Museum of Art receives funding each year from the city of New York, the mayor took the museum to court to decide if the city should have to continue with such financial support.

In the end, the Brooklyn Museum of Art won and the city does still contribute to the museum's operating fund. that Mayor Giuliani and the citizens of New York had a legitimate case?

At the same time as the Holy Virgin Mary protests, a group of people thought it would be fun to create a painting called Jesus Rising #4, which eventually drew more attention than the cast of Friends showing up at your birthday party. Stories of peeps protesting because Jesus Rising #4 wasn't "anti-christian" enough, soon made their way around the 'net. Non-Christians, offended by the Christian religion, were said to have marched in front of New York's Whitney Museum with signs that read, "Where's the Feces?" and "Blasphemy Now!" Some suggested that the painting be smeared with blood, while others were happy to see any bodily fluid incorporated into the work of art in protest of the Christian religion itself. The painting ended up staying just the way painter Miguel Nunez had intended it to be - feces free. Soon this hoax was uncovered and it turned out that Jesus Rising #4 never existed, nor did Miguel Nunez, but it did create some pretty interesting debate about art!

Controversial paintings from New York City art galleries.
Holy Virgin Mary and Jesus Rising #4

1 Jesus Christ is beautiful and not crap. For you to say that to me is offensive to my religion. How would you like it if I said your religion's artwork was just plain "CRAP?" So, it's not crap. It's lovley. But although Jesus is lovley, I think the picture of Mary is offensive.

Kidz Submit by:

Nickname: sheena rules the world
Age: 14

What do you think about these works of art, the controversy that surrounds them and art censorship? Should there be limits on what is legitimate art, or should we let everything fall under the heading of "Freedom of Artistic Expression?" Should religious beliefs be taken into account when dealing with art censorship? to Kidzworld and we'll post 'em up!

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    Amount of $ Brooklyn Museum gets from NYC?

    • A hundred thousand dollars each year.
    • Three million dollars goes to the museum.
    • Half a million dollars each year.
    • The museum gets eight million dollars a year.

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