If you like your art controversial with a sprinkling of black humour and a side order of deliberate provocation, then we may have just the exhibition for you. The SaLon Gallery in Notting Hill is currently featuring works by Sussex Muslim artist Sarah Maple, and it is by all accounts causing a bit of a stir.
The images of women in hejab clutching pigs, wearing rock badges, or with one tit hanging out were never actually going to please the Muslim community. But Ms. Maple has received death threats and the gallery has been vandalised, and that’s just not cricket. Some of her paintings are actually quite good, and many of them are downright funny, although one critic (who wins rant of the day award) seems incapable of getting past how bad she thinks they are.
But being an Angry Young Woman (or even one who seems a bit too full of herself) does not a Tracy Emin make, and provocation for its own sake is rarely commendable. To be honest we can’t decide whether this is an honourable blow for artistic freedom or gratuitous clutching at publicity straws. What do you reckon? ‘This Artist Blows’ is on until 15th November if you want to go along and make up your own mind.
Art Gallery from Homemade’s Londonist flickr stream.