Latest Controversial Sculpture Unveiled At Walker Art Gallery Liverpool
Banksy has had a history of altering or adding to works of art in British museums, for over a decade. This time his target was The The Walker Art Gallery, where he has unveiled a new addition to its collection this week. The sculpture takes the form of a bust of a priest enhanced by the graffiti artist. The 18th Century reproduction stone bust has been altered with a selection of Homebase style bathroom tiles. The clever result is a ‘pixellated’ portrait, entitled “Cardinal Sin”. The underlying message is believed to be a commentary on the abuse scandal which has rocked the Church and the resulting cover- up. In the past Banksy has stated,“I’m never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one”
The sculpture,is on loan indefinitely by the artist and has never been exhibited before, will be on display in one of the Walker Art Galleries 17th-century Old Master rooms. Other works in the section include church altarpieces and other religious sculpture and artifacts. And what better time for this poignant and timely treatment of a Banksy subject to make its appearance…. It’s Christmas!
The Gallery had an open call for photographers yesterday on the 15 December 2011. Cardinal Sin will be on display and Reyahn King, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool will be available for interview. “We are thrilled to display the work of this major contemporary artist. It is a huge coup and we’re sure his work will spark a reaction with visitors. Banksy specified that it be shown alongside our period collection and we were very happy to oblige.”
The “Exit Through the gift artist is no stranger to museum installations, his exhibition (2009) was the highest profile Bristol Museum exhibition ever and the most successful in the museum’s 190 year history. The show brought an estimated £15 million into the local economy and was noted as the first retrospective exhibition of Banksy’s work. One of the key pieces in the exhibition was a work “Pink Angel” which modifies a 19th century plaster cast of a angel. Banksy splattered it with pink paint and placed the empty bucket over the head of the figure. This work was donated to the museum following the run of the exhibition. Banksy agreed to do the show at the museum for a token fee of £1, all a gift to the bithplace of this elusive artist.