Blasphemous art – shocking or thought provoking?

A thought provoking and interesting book that crossed my desk this week was ‘Blasphemy: art that offends‘ by S. Brent Plate.

Art, historically, has often been the cause of controversy. Works considered blasphemous were destroyed or banned, those viewed as obscene and not to public taste, banished.

The author of this book considers the religious-political divide and arts’ relationship to authority, covering issues such as censorship and freedom of expression, citing that ‘The boundary between artistic freedom and incitement is becoming ever more blurred…’ 

‘Myra’ by Marcus Harvey

Included in the book are works from 14th century Islamic calligraphy to Theo Van Gogh’s ‘Submission’ and more modern art works such as Marcus Harvey’s ‘Myra’ illustrated below.

Plate, S. Brent (2006) Blasphemy : art that offends
London: Black Dog
ISBN: 9781904772538
Classmark: Folio N72.R4.P5 (ASSL)