Thursday, May 2, 2013

Chris Ofili

Although not directly related to neo expressionism, Chris Ofili comes close and if it weren't for his focus on race and religion in his art; he explores themes that revolve around religion (born catholic), reinterpreted from the British -born male Nigerian descent point of view. For example, his collage The Holy Virgin Mary depicts an over simplified African American Virgin Mary floating among an almost bare yellow background (it was sprinkled with dots and female genitals cut out from pornographic magazines), she is draped in a shawl and has African elephant dung smeared on her as well as at the base of the painting. Immediately following the collage's opening exhibition and even now, it has been criticized  protested, and elicited strong confrontational reactions from the christian right. Although it creates controversy over the depiction of Mary, Ofili hopes that viewers might be able to move beyond the porn and elephant dung so that they can see the collage in new ways.

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