Caroline Saunders on wed 6 oct 99
I would like to add to a comment made by Kim:
> this same show was in Britain recently. There wasn't any
> controversy. People weren't protesting in the streets. People didn't get
> shorts in a bind. It was just another show.
Yes this show was here but no it was not just another show, there was
controversy about it and quite a lot of coverage by the press and TV.
Interestingly the upset was not centred on the Chris Ofili painting though
it did get coverage. The focus in the UK was on a large painting by Marcus
Harvey of a famous child killer/torturer, the familiar police image had been
reworked using child size handprints. This painting was attacked and then
had to be guarded. Calls were made to have the painting removed from the
exhibition but it stayed. My opinion was that it was a powerful piece that
did not make light of it's subject matter, quite the reverse but once again
seeing it in the flesh was the only way to truly judge.
Just to clarify, the show comprises works owned by a guy called Charles
Saatchi who is not that old, maybe around 50. He buys a lot of work from
emerging young British artists. The pieces in the show are just a very
small selection from his collection. A number of artists with work in the
show have been recipients of the prestigious Turner Prize including Chris
Ofili (the first time a painter had won in quite a while).
Is there anyone else out there who has seen the show?
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