One Nation Under Socialism, Jon McNaughton
Politically conservative and living in Utah, McNaughton has done a series of paintings which depict President Barack Obama negatively. Obama here is holding a burning U.S. Constitution and pointing to the flame. The main outcry over this painting was expressed over the internet after the image of it had gone viral. Sean Hannity of Fox News had McNaughton onto his show to discuss “One Nation Under Socialism” and then bought the original painting for six figures, reportedly $300,000.
Plopegg, Milo Moiré
At Art Cologne 2014, Moiré squeezed paint-filled eggs out of her vagina. She had a blank canvas underneath her and as each egg emerged it fell to the canvas, broke and splattered into a painting. This represented fertile creativity. The artist said: “I’m interested in pushing boundaries through art, living and expressing my art with my body and mind while opening mental doors.”
La Nona Ora, Maurizio Cattelan
This piece was shown during the artist’s Guggenheim retrospective called "All". He hung his work from the ceiling on platforms, suspending thousands of pounds of weight of multi million dollar art work which had been internationally collected. This one is the most contentious of the lot. It is a wax sculpture of Pope John Paul II being hit by a meteorite.
Porno Queen, Paolo Schmidlin
This controversial sculpture of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was shown in Madrid, Spain. It is controversial because of the sexuality and loss of dignity and majesty. The queen is a sex object being manhandled and she doesn’t look displeased about it either.
Shark – David Černý
This is a life-size model of former dictator Saddam Hussein, suspended in a large tank of formaldehyde. It was intended to in part make fun of Damien Hirst's 1991 sculpture, 'The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living.’ There were problems exhibiting this work as host countries were worried that it might cause unrest among Muslim residents. The below art work is the one it was satirizing.
The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living – Damien Hirst
This piece is of a 4.3-meter tiger shark that was captured in Queensland, Australia. It was then preserved and installed in a glass case. While the piece is controversial as to being even considered art, it is nonetheless also considered a defining part of British art of this era.
Brown Nosing, David Černý
This is a large-scale installation with the bottom half of humans, bent forward. In order to see what this “person” was watching, you had to climb the ladder and place your head through the ass-end of the sculptures. Then you saw a video of a politician feeding an artist and vice versa. The Queen song "We Are The Champions" played while you did this. To have to stick your head in a sculpture’s butt end to see the entire art work made it one of the most provocative and controversial art work installations world wide.
One Nation Under CCTV, Bansky
This is the work of a UK street artist known as Banksy. He has not made any public appearance including when his film “Exit Through the Gift Shop” was nominated for the Oscar. So it is not known who he is although it has been made known he is a man. The artist makes statements about ongoing situations in society, another one of which was replacing 500 copies of Paris Hilton’s debut CD with remixes questioning her worth.
Thomas Hoepker’s 9/11 photograph
The German photographer’s image shows 9/11 in a blasé way. Specifically, as if it was just a piece of ordinary scenery to a group of people out and about in New York while the Twin Towers burned across from them. The controversy is in the seeming callousness among the chatting group. It is considered a defining image of the attack.
Made In Heaven Exhibit, Jeff Koons
The Whitney asked Jeff Koons to do the exhibit “Made In Heaven”. He took this exhibit to a stage of his existence that was wildly intrusive into his own personal life. He hired a porn star, put the two of them together into the art work, married her, and had a child with her. That is him on top of her for the poster. They were married for 7 years and then had a huge breakup and divorce. Supposedly he destroyed a lot of this art work after the breakup. This entire exhibit is of sex between the two of them. Yet in 2014, Koons not only survived this, he is now the most successful artist in America. The exhibit itself was in 1990-1991 but how many people could not only live this down but go on to become Number 1?