Our pals at the excellent art magazine Hi-Fructose partnered with MOCA, which curated what appears to be an incredible pop surrealism retrospective opening next week at the Virginia Museum of contemporary Art. Last week, one of the commissioners on the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission saw a painting by renowned artist Mark Ryden and flipped out. From WAVY:
"Look at this, she's got a saw in her hand cutting off a piece of ham with the words on the ham 'Corpus Christi.' That is Latin for body of Christ, and the hand is dropping down and eaten by rats." Loyola says. He also pointed out that the girl is wearing a first communion dress with a crucifix around her neck, and a figure of Jesus on a bottle of wine. Also there's a rabbit pouring a teapot with blood is coming out.
"This is very anti-Christian and anti-Catholic. I was shocked to see this," he says…
"She is holding the severed head, and blood is spraying up and showering her in blood. Is this what we are subsidizing at MOCA?" Loyola asks…
(MOCA executive director Debi Gray responded,) "Art is intended to be controversial. Too some degree it's intended to spark dialog, and I am delighted it has fulfilled our mission."
Loyola countered, "I'm responding to her false claim. Obviously she feels she can do what she wants with taxpayer money. Not on my watch."
Loyola is concerned that Ryden, in his work, pokes fun of religion.
"I am really not poking fun at religion. I am just looking at it in different ways," Ryden said. "Someone ought to poke fun at those Christians, though."
The exhibition, "Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose," opens May 22 and runs the rest of the 2016.