What is it about the arts that can throw some
people into a tizzy, so to speak? It doesn’t matter if it’s a
painting, sculpture, stage play, dance, a novel or even music.
Someone, somewhere is going to be put off and feel compelled to protest
or even attempt to censor the work. The controversy over a work
can be initiated by private citizens, special interest groups or even
the government. The reactions can be based on moral, aesthetic or
even political concerns. It’s not just the average ‘Joe Citizen’
who voices his distain, but art critics themselves have often been at
the forefront of the attack on some artists and their work. The
history of controversial art is vast and deserves much more research
than provided here. I have, however, chosen a handful of visual
artworks that have suffered the wrath of their detractors only to come
out, in the end, having found redemption.