BEASTLY EXHIBIT AT BROOKLYN MUSEUM OF ART
Catalyst October Issue 1999
Beginning October 2, the Brooklyn Museum of Art will feature “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection.” The exhibit contains the work of 42 artists that have been furnished by Charles Saatchi, a leading collector of contemporary art. Among the displays is one by Chris Ofili, “The Holy Virgin Mary.” This collage shows a Black Madonna surrounded by pictures of female genitalia and anuses with elephant dung splattered all over the linen. Other displays feature dead animals and sexually mutilated bodies. Christie’s is a sponsor of this exhibit. No one under 16 is allowed to see it unless accompanied by an adult.
Catholic League president William Donohue sounded off on this today:
“I know of no other enterprise, profession or industry that allows as many frauds to be perpetrated on it than the artistic community. No wonder Hitler was accepted as an artist: all he had to do was proclaim himself to be one and that was enough for the creative-types to welcome him.
“This exhibit is designed to shock, but instead it induces revulsion. What is even more revolting than the art is the mentality of Arnold L. Lehman, the director of the Brooklyn Museum of Art: ‘This is truly a defining exhibition,’ he said. That it is, but for reasons he’ll never figure out. ‘I think New Yorkers are incredibly sophisticated,’ said Lehman, ‘and believe like I do that they should be exposed to works that are emotionally engaging and ones that make us think.’ So here we have it: the scatological is a tonic for the brain, something the sophisticated can imbibe along with their bottled water.
“We are calling for New Yorkers of every religion to boycott the Brooklyn Museum of Art. We will also seek to defund the institution of public money by writing to the appropriate public officials.”