22. Holy Virgin Mary by Chris Ofili, 1999

Ofili's work is significant for the lawsuit it spurred against the Brooklyn Museum, brought by the easily offended Mayor of New York at that time, Rudolph Giuliani. Ofili's painted a black Virgin Mary, deemed "disgusting" by Giuliani—it was composed in part of elephant dung, which was inspired by the time Ofili spent in Zimbabwe. It also used clips of pornography, using close up cut-outs of women's genitalia to represent butterflies. At the very least, this painting raised questions about the politics of medium. Perhaps it was the collision of the sacred with the profane that so many found so uncouth. The painting was eventually damaged by an offended Catholic named Dennis Heiner, who smeared white paint over the canvas. He was given a $250 fine.

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