Literally! A few years ago, an artist was criticized for depicting the Virgin Mary with elephant dung. When is art not really art?
Um, I don’t know why he made it out of dung but consider it feels almost like an insult in terms of the Catholic’s perspective. The artist did say that we came from the ground and he’s appreciating what Mother Nature is giving him, but that doesn’t explain why elephant dung? Rich with minerals I guess?
Sadly people say that’s not art, that’s garbage. Well, do you know what actually is art? The definition clearly states, “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
So in the artist’s statement that he is expressing his take on the Virgin Mary, it’s the same as a kid drawing a bad picture of his mother showing his affection toward the person and himself.
Here’s a story that happened exactly as I felt when I saw a painting that I thought wasn’t art. Back in 2009 on a summer day my mom, brother and I went to the museum of art. We enjoyed it for the most part, until we stopped by the modern art exhibition and I saw one particular painting that I thought a child had painted. It reminded of my Kindergarten years when I spilled paint and drew all over the paper. I was just baffled at the sight.
Then a few years later I saw on the Google page that Jackson Pollock had his birthday so I looked it up to see who he was. To my surprise, he was an artist and the painting is the exact same painting I saw a few years ago wondering why he did it. I researched him some more and found out that he was an addict and an alcoholic. He drew these paintings to symbolize the trouble and frustration of his life, and the white line of paint represents the struggle of staying on a straight path. I was so surprised by this new perspective of the artist that now I realized that art is what the artist sees!
Back again with the guy on the Saint Mary painting, don’t judge based on what it is made of or what it looks like. Take into account that the artist is trying to apply his vision and see if you can see in a different view too!
Here’s the link to the article: