Chris Ofili



Holy Virgin Mary
Lightning-rod canvas with elephant dung.
© 2017 Chris Ofili

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Chris is famous for the Holy Virgin Mary, Lightning-rod canvas with elephant dung, exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum, Summer -- Fall 1999.

A gorgeous, sweet and respectful treatment of the subject, rendering her as a sternly hieratic African personage in petal-like blue robes. Much of the painting's surface shimmers ecstatically with glitter in yellow resin. Tiny collaged cutouts of bare bottoms from porn magazines evoke putti, and allude to the element of fertility in Mary's symbology, which Ofili did not invent. As for the pachyderm product, it is one smallish, attached lump, capped with what appears to be black-and-white beadwork (in reality pushpin heads) in a design of concentric circles. Elephant poop turns out to be innocuous-looking stuff, not unpleasant in color and almost decorative in texture (lots of straw).
Studios of Chris Ofili

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