Reader Article: Controversial Art Pieces that Shocked The World
Over the years, art has often been used to shock an audience into feeling a strong emotion or carrying out a specific action. Art and controversy have grown more prominent over the years and remain closely linked today. These ten pieces created a splash in the world of art and left a lasting impact.
Liz and Phil Down by the Lake by Greg Taylor
This Australian sculpture featured Elizabeth and Prince Philip sitting in the buff in front of the Canberra Parliament House. It lasted a mere week before an angry protester beheaded Queen Elizabeth. Further vandalism of the sculpture resulted in its removal.
Hedge Row by Angela Singer
British artist Angela Singer combines a love of animals and art to support the cause of animal rights. Singer uses taxidermy techniques to draw attention to the wounds of hunted animals, which appear realistic enough to nauseate and disgust much of her audience.
Piss Christ by Andres Serrano
Serrano caused a scandal that was heavily debated on the floor of the United States Senate in 1989. The photograph of a tiny plastic crucifix in a cup of Serrano's urine sparked much debate surrounding artistic freedom, but won a competition held by the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.
Love and Redemption by Joel Peter-Witkin
Peter-Witkin's highly graphic photography features the dismembered arm and head of a human corpse. This piece was created in Mexico, because its production would have been illegal in the United States.
Shark by David Cerny
This work was created as a parody of the equally controversial Damien Hirst piece entitled "The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living." Cerny's version depicts a nearly naked Saddam Hussein handcuffed and suspended in a tank of formeldehyde.
Myra by Marcus Harvey
Featured in the 1997 Royal Academy of Art exhibit known as Sensation, this portrayal of murderer Myra Hindley was made using children's handprints. It was egged by protesters on opening day.
Still Life with Stem Cells by Patricia Piccinini
Part of Piccinini's 2002 exhibit, "Still Life with Stem Cells" explores the possible consequences of genetic engineering by portraying a young girl playing with what appear to be blobs of human flesh.
Yo Mama’s Last Supper by Renee Cox
Inspired by the famous Da Vinci painting, this painting includes eleven black men, one white man and a naked black woman (who is actually Renee Cox) at the Last Supper.
Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston by Daniel Edwards