I’d first like to acknowledge artistic notion that art is controversy. Art that elicits a negative reaction can spurn thoughtful and productive discussion and is therefore art. However, some art chides us to dissect meaning that isn’t there. It’s controversial for the sake of being controversial and carries little use but to confuse the observer because there is no loftier motive. I think the following artistic pieces (of shit) embody this sentiment.
David Cerny takes a “Piss”
David erected a stature of two two naked men staring at each other, their members shift from side-to-side shooting ‘water’. The statue, appropriately titled “Piss” is located in Prague. Cerny doesn’t shy away from controversy. Cerny once suggested a masturbating woman as an installation to the top of a theater in France, complete with a water-shooting man that’ll occasionally douse the crowd.
There are reports of children mistaking the “Piss” art for some sort of fun fountain. You can paint your own picture.
Angela Singer’s Carcasses
Angela Singer is one of New Zealand’s most controversial artists. Angela is an activist for animal rights and is wholly against vivisections, or the dissection of live animals, or anything similar to it which is odd because Angela’s canvas’ are made entirely out of dead animals, specifically dissected animals. If you feel like you’re being eaten by a Hammerhead shark of retarded irony right now, you are.
Chris Ofili, “No Woman, No Cry”
No Woman No Cry by Chris Ofili (1998). The painting stands on two dried, varnished lumps of elephant dung. A third is used as the pendant of the necklace. This piece is actually fantastic but given that the painting literally incorporates pieces of shit, I felt it deserved recognition.
Jeff Koons’ Hanging Train (Proposed POS)
It’s a 161-foot replica of a train being suspended by a crane hanging over the entrance to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The proposed monstrosity would be visible from the 10 Freeway and, presumably, space. Opponents speculate that Koons’ proposed piece makes no statement at all and therefore isn’t art.
Cosimo Cavallaro’s “My Sweet Lord”
“My Sweet Lord.” is a 6-foot replication of Jesus Christ in his memorable dying moments hanging from the cross, made of chocolate. Cosimo rolled this beauty out just in time for Easter in 2007 to spark public outrage in the Catholic community. It was viewed more as a publicity stunt than art and was taken down after a few days on display. ‘Sweet Lord’ is a also a dieting nightmare…
Weighing in at 485,460 Calories is fine but the Calories from fat crosses a line.
Damien Hirst “For the Love of God”
Damien Hirst’s diamond skull is valued at $1.8 million dollars. The skull is ‘how 2 million dollars is supposed to look’ and is intended to speak about the morality of art and money. Shortly after ‘For the Love of God’ was unveiled, a great piece entitled “For the Laugh of God” was made by artist Peter Fuss. Complete with 9,870 diamond-substitutes, you get all the gleaming splendor of the original at a $1.79 million dollar discount.
“Shark” by David Cerny
David Cerny is one of the most controversial artists living today, and he’s also the highest paid. So I’ll admit the man has made a ton of great moves but putting Saddam Hussein, suspended in embalming fluid isn’t one of them. “Shark” is supposed reinforce the philosophical belief in the “impossibility of death in the minds of something living.” but it just makes me want to switch over to boxer shorts.
Controversial Counterpoint, Colbert at the Smithsonian
Stephen Colbert’s self portrait of a self-portrait of a self-portrait made a six week appearance at the Smithsonian last year. You’ll note the juxtaposition of Colbert next to the lady’s room belies a deeper meaning emasculating the – nah, just think it’s hilarious that Colbert got himself hanged at the Smithsonian. Well played.
(Link provided and Fair Use of low resolution image in articles about or relevant to Chris Ofili, Angela Singer, David Cerny, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, and Cosimo Cavallaro.)