Have artists gone too far?

Artist provocations and public anger has been a regular event of sorts in recent years. Cows have been cut up in two and displayed, frozen blood has been used to create portrait busts and more recently a British artist's installation of her bed included soiled underwear and used condoms. It seems as if shock is the only way for artists to get any attention in the media nowadays.

This week's art controversy is a row over a bikini clad virgin Mary, a digital image on display at the museum of international folk art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Catholic activists and elders find it offensive for they feel it shows the Madonna as a tart. The artist, Alma Lopez finds the uproar all very puzzling; all she wanted to show was the Virgin Mary as a modern day woman.

A sizeable crowd turned up for a public hearing organised by the museum on whether the picture should be removed. The venue was too small for the angry crowd. Many of whom could not get inside the hall. Fearing violence the board finally cancelled the meeting.