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Virginia Arts Commissioners Threaten to Defund Museum Over “Anti-Christian” Paintings

Virginia Arts Commissioners Threaten to Defund Museum Over “Anti-Christian” Paintings

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Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Members of a Virginia arts commission are calling a pair of Mark Ryden paintings blasphemous and threatening to slash funding for the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) for including them in a forthcoming show. The offending works are the pop-surrealist artist’s “Fountain” (2003) and “Rosie’s Tea Party” (2005), which both show young, doll-like girls in unsettling scenes: In the former, a figure cradles her own head as blood springs from her neck; in the latter, a girl is surrounded by an assortment of meats and slicing a hunk of ham inscribed with the papal encyclical “Mystici corporis Christi.” The paintings go on view starting this weekend as part of Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose, a retrospective celebrating the artworks that have appeared in the pages of the San Francisco–based contemporary art magazine. Besides Ryden, artists showcased include Kehinde Wiley, Olek, and Shepard Fairey. Continues at hyperallergic.com

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