Controversial artists who turned the tables on traditions
Controversial artists rever M. Duchamp, a French artist who was considered ahead of his times. Almost 100 years before, logging in his protest against the society of independent artists to accept any art with charge, he turned in a porcelain urinal! Further, the scandal that resulted from the unprecedented move made him the most revered artist of his times. Though the notoriety of the move made him being regarded as a controversial artist of his own repute. The toilet seat was signed off as R. Mutt in 1917 and debate is still on the art circles regarding the value of the piece.
Controversial artists galore:
As the year comes to a close, we enlist the best individual controversial artists of the past century and decade who gave us a run for the money and guts. However, the artist groups don’t form the part of our list at the moment.
Controversial artists are just ordinary humans with extraordinary flair to test the limits of the society. Socioeconomic factors and culture are main factors that promote a healthy relationship with the traditional craft yet these artists are beyond the ordinary parameters of evaluation of human mind and mental space.
The society has always made a mockery or dissuaded the works of the artists in view of their respective issues. How can we forget our own indian controversial artist Maqbool F. Hussain, who went on to display a revered Hindu Goddess in a unsuspecting manner. This incident lead him to be chased by the ethnic groups on charges of hurting religious sentiments. The result? He died far away from home i.e. at Dubai, rejected by his own people. Today we Honor his legacy and works as nothing short of pure genius.
Likewise, the past century has seen fair share of such controversial art work and artists. Read how these controversial artists made their art work shake the world. Alternative art probably?
The other controversial artists who rocked the century:
- Damien Hirst
First of all, we bow our heads to British classic artist Damien Hirst. His animal installations are controversial yet revered by the art enthusiasts. The most well-known piece that propelled him to the fame is “A thousand years” that is basically a giant glass case laden with maggots and flies feeding on the decomposing head of a cow! This was back in the year 1990.
Image: Artists own collection
Another art piece is “The physical impossibility of Death in the Mind of someone living” which is a 14 feet long tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde solution inside a steel and glass tank. When the decay went The physical beyond the physical possibility, he replaced it with a new one in 2006! The first one was bought from Australia and the second one again from the shores of Queensland.
- Ren Hang
Late poet and controversial photographer Ren Hang was one solitary man. His photographs were defaced or pulled off and only to end with a label of soft-core pornography. The outdoor nudity has been a public ban since the year 1940. His multiple attempts to fight the ban and express the presence of the naked artists outdoors bought him more harm than good. Though shunned by his own, his work found solace in global exhibitions like White rabbit gallery. Further, the controversial issues forced him to comment that the cocks and pussies are not embarrassing, at all. Despite all the attempts to break the cliches, the allegations against the artist took a toll on him.
Image: Precinct fine arts
Known for her artwork called as sky whale, she turned the tables in 2013 and became known as the giant balloon queen. A sculptor artist of international repute, Patricia Piccinini faced a lot of allegations as an artist with a deep message. Her artwork includes 2010 work called newborn which will ruffle the feathers of the artists with its deep message. Likewise, 2008 work called as The long-awaited features a walrus sleeping on the lap of a small boy. Trust her to bring attachments of themes like motherhood and family in such an unexpected manner.
- Marcus Harvey
British controversial artist Marcus Harvey is one smart guy. At the mere age of 30, he catapulted to fame with his work called as Myra, designed in 1995. From the mere work itself, you understand the subtle elements imbibed in what appears to be a normal image of a lady. This blurry shot is actually the image of Myra Hindley, a British murderer and sexual assaulter of young children. With her partner Ian Brady, she killed 5 kids between 10 to 17 years of age in a mere period of 24 months!
If this fact didn’t rattle you then the methodology of the artist will. Using a cast of an infant’s hand, he made a mosaic of the murderer. On a larger space, it looks like the identification sketch of police yet it is a mosaic with a hunting story.
When the exhibition was to open in 1997, the families of the victims protested and the artist was booked. Surprisingly, Hindley interjected and requested Harvey to remove the feature as the same will cause more trauma to her victim and requested and their family. Marcus Harvey surely knows how to make a picture convey a thousand words.
Image: i news uk
Another British artist Tracey Emin makes it to our list with her art installations that are nothing but surprisingly bold. Her installation called as everyone I have ever slept with 1963 to 95 contains not just the names of her loved ones yet every male she has shared a bed with, sexually. A total of 102 people made it to the blue tent. The applique pattern contains names of her aborted foetuses. The art was well appreciated by collector Saatchi but got destroyed in 2004. The British media was nothing short of elated by the loss.
Another installation, was a replica of her unmade bed. Complete with the stained sheets, surrounding clutter of condoms and underwear, she expressed the dim days of her life due to the loss of the child. The installation was once again bought by Charles Saatchi and features at the Saatchi gallery. Perhaps every female will relate with the days described by the artist when jumping out of bed is a daunting task.
Australian artist Bill Henson kicked his share of hornet’s nest in May 2008. Known for his nudes, he courted the controversy when his exhibit containing the nude images of a 13-year-old teenage girl Hetty Johnson. The resultant complaints and gallery vandalism are the proof of the number of unwanted feathers rustled by Bill Henson. Even columnist Miranda Devine went on to express her share of written profanities to quell the images. The result? The negative press made him even more famous and made his place as controversial artists of the century. Despite all the shit storm surrounding the work, a cultural moment in support of this artist was launched and images managed to scrape a PG rating.
Despite the Westernization and child protection policy, the artist remains a favourite of the modern school of the art form.
Disclaimer Note: We, however, would prefer to remain silent on this artwork and artist. Further, this is a mere chronicle of the controversial artists of the century and no attempt is being made to hurt the sentiments of any race/category/ religion or sect.
Image: Hbc global art collection
We all host a dinner party for friends or family but no one ever got invited to a firebrand party like that of feminist Judy Chicago. Her artwork called the Dinner Party in 79 was a collection of female reproductive organs in the sexual context.
So basically, the Dinner Party was a collection of 39 such reproductive organs! The table hosting this elaborate fanfare was 14.63 m in length. She even labelled these with the inspiration. Like you could find one of Virginia Woolf, O’Keefe, etc. Each host plate was carefully painted by the artist with her hands. Also was present ceramic flatware and gold embroidered napkins along with the labelled reproductive part. For the artist, the table and the inscription are the part of with the women who changed the world and its individuals for the good. and the men
However, the work was regarded as kitsch and failed to receive the required impact. The collection is available at Elizabeth A Sackler centre for Feminist Art at Brooklyn, New York.
Cheers to female emancipation, however.
The list comes to a close with the leader of the controversial artist’s clan: Serbian artist Marina Abramovic. A true performance artist, she brings controversy to seem closer than necessary. She had her fair share of controversy post her memoir that contained racist comments on the aboriginal people of Australia.
But this is not why we included her in the list. The artist has given us more than we can digest. Here is the list (yes, it’s beyond our reasonable judgement to evaluate her):
- In 1974, she jumped across a five pointed star and lost consciousness. For the star was lit with fire (sigh, guts).
- Again in 1974, 72 objects were laid out five-pointed on board like wine, pistol and even nails. She sat for 6 hours straight and asked the audience to do anything with her! Anything means anything (God bless her).
- She is the inspiration behind today’s lady Gaga and her entire Abramovic method of courting the art.
- Further, this Abramovic method is a worldwide favorite exercise and practice method!
Share your viewpoint on these artists and their work. Are these genius or pure scandal?