Friday, February 19, 2010

Stairway to Heaven: Modern art with a message or just Israel bashing?

I am not a follower of the world of art, but I came across this article in Haaretz Israeli newspaper.

Spain sculpture offensive to Jews, Israel says

I am sure non-Jews may also find it offensive for different reasons, but it all depends what you think he is saying. As for me, I found that sculpture on display in Madrid's contemporary art show ARCO 2010 interesting, so I did some looking around online.

I was actually amused and entertained by some of the other work of the Spanish artist, Eugenio Merino. He definitely has a message (see some photos below) and he does not seem to play favoritism.
He is bashing political right and left, terrorists and politicians, big corporations and the individual's pop culture attitudes, sports, and even the dalai lama.

If you search Merino's name you realize that, outside Israeli concerns, the bigger controversy is not about his Stairway to Heaven (see photo on the right) and what Israel thinks of him, but about his parody sculpture 'of the richest artist alive', Damien Hirst who recently sold a piece of art called 'For the Love of God' for 110 million dollars. The precious piece is a sculpture of skull laced with diamonds.

The parody sculpture is called '4 the love of Go(l)d' where he portrays the rich British artist committing suicide to raise the value of his own artwork.

By the way, I am not claiming I am well versed with the work of these artists. And until yesterday, I never even heard of either of them. But some of Merino's work is eye-catching, and seems to have a very strong social commentary element. I thought some of you may find it interesting.

Other links:
'Suicide' sculpture of Damien Hirst causes controversy in Spain | Art and design |
Eugenio Merino - artist website
Provocative, funny, confusing: Eugenio Merino - the artist to watch - Swide Magazine

African skinny kid & Diet Coke

African Bart





  1. Stairway to heaven piece is actually funny, there needs to be some lightening up.

  2. Enjoyed this post. Stairway to Heavan, I thought, is pretty clever. Even if sometimes offensive, freedom to think and express must be protected.