The Walker Art Gallery is set to unveil a new addition to its collection this week – a statue of a priest vandalised by Banksy. The renowned graffiti artist has sawn off the face of an 18th Century replica stone bust and glued on a selection of bathroom tiles. The resulting 'pixelated' portrait is entitled Cardinal Sin and is believed to be a comment on the abuse scandal in the Church and its subsequent cover- up.
“I’m never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one” said Banksy.
The sculpture, which has been loaned indefinitely by the artist and has never been seen before, will be exhibited in one of the Walker’s 17th-century Old Master galleries. Works in the gallery include large church altarpieces and religious sculpture.
You are invited to send a photographer, reporter or camera crew to the Walker Art Gallery on Thursday 15 December 2011 at 10:30hrs. Cardinal Sin will be on display and Reyahn King, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool will be available for interview.
Reyahn King, Director of Art Galleries at National Museums Liverpool said: "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.”
Well, I like the pixelation effect and I accept that Webster’s doesn’t specifically exclude the possibility that a person -- in this case a famous artist in a highly intellected and mediated creative act -- might correctly be described as “vandalizing” their own property (although the description seems inaccurate and overly precious to me).
Still, this is flat, lacks timeliness and the bite and mystery I expect from this artist.
And Director Reyahn King’s "well respected man" praise-line is just sad.
The Walker's decision to place Cardinal Sin in a gallery of devotional works during the Christmas season is questionable at best, idiotic at worst, and certainly unnecessarily offensive.
“You think it's funny/ turning rebellion into money?”
A Damp Squib.
Banksy steamroller work. This I like.