Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Rubber Pope

I really like artist Niki Johnson - all of her pieces reflect her mind-set on whatever topics she chooses to express herself, sometimes referring to celebrities (Paris Hilton was the inspiration of her 'Le Tart' piece, Amy Winehouse was immortalized in 'Corner Drug').

This time, in a piece finished in December 2012 (yeah, yeah, hospitalization has made me late on many things I wanted to write about - move on!), she reacted to a quote from Pope Benedict XVI who said in 2009 (she's even more belated than I am!) that the use in condoms in Africa would spread AIDS by making a portrait of him entirely in condoms:

She calls it Eggs Benedict.

Through this, she hopes to take aim at the church's stance on using condoms, but also promote sexual diversity and a more open discussion about sexual health.
The entire project took 270 hours spread over three years to complete, Johnson estimated -- 135 hours individually opening the condoms, laying them out and planning, and 135 hours threading them through wire mesh. She finished in late 2012 and plans to display the piece as part of a larger exhibition at Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee from June 7 to July 28.

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