Time for another go at skeptical art critique. For this week I’ve chosen a work that raised considerable controversy: The Holy Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili.
The mixed media creation featured an abstracted woman with exaggerated African features clad in a blue shall typically used to depict the biblical Virgin Mary. The painting also included collage elements of butterfly like decorations made from images of female genitalia. Finally an exposed breast and supports for the piece were made from polished pieces of elephant dung.
It caused quite a stir when it toured.
How do you view this work? Was it in poor taste? Was it brilliant? How should it be interpreted? In what context should we view it?