Responding to the child abuse scandals in the Catholic church, Bansky says “I’m never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one.”
Although Banksy has worked with sculpture multiple times, “Cardinal Sin” is only his second work of art created for a gallery.
(Earlier Banksy sculpture)
In his latest work, “Cardinal Sin” Banksy displays a bust of a Catholic priest with an obscured pixelated face made from bathroom floor tiles. The work is now at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool, England.
Although Banksy’s point is well made, the issue is not fully adressed in this work or in Banksy’s statements. What Banksy does not address is that lies, corruption and acts of indescribable cruelty and perversion are not specific to the scandals of the Catholic Church. Unfortunately, these behaviors are a much broader disease of humanity and cannot be pinned on Catholicism.
Although Bansky doesn’t deeply explain why he chose a Catholic Cardinal as the focal point of this piece, beyond the obvious reasons and the apropos timing of Christmas, he does account for his love of the Walker gallery. “I love everything about the Walker Gallery – the Old Masters, the contemporary art, the rude girl in the cafe. And when I found out Mr Walker built it with beer money, it became my favorite gallery,” said Banksy.
“The statue? I guess you could call it a Christmas present. At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse.”
The replica 18th Century bust is now in a room with an altarpiece painted for the Archbishop of Seville by the Spanish artist Murillo in 1673, and Rubens’ painting The Virgin and Child with St Elizabeth and the Child Baptist.
Reyahn King, director of art galleries at National Museums Liverpool, said Banksy had approached the gallery and specified that his sculpture be shown alongside the gallery’s period collection.
“The sculpture very clearly contains a message,” she said. “When you look at it and see the tiles that have been applied to the sawn-off face, you immediately get the impression of those pixelated images of suspected criminals you see on screen or in a newspaper photograph.
“What interests me is that when a visitor sees that, they then perhaps will look at the other paintings in the gallery and look for the less obvious messages that all artists tend to have within their work.”
The gallery had had no hesitation in accepting Banksy’s sculpture, she added.
“We have always shown controversial art and have works of art that were considered very controversial in their time. It’s part of an artistic tradition to show art that challenges people.”
via BBC News