The world of art is no stranger to the provocative projects or performances. These are 10 of the most controversial artworks and art projects of all time!
1. Guernica — Pablo Picasso (1937)
This painting is lauded as one of the most powerful anti-war art pieces in history. The painting depicts a feeling of doom, a message that all we once loved will eventually be lost. Inspired by the Nazi bombing of the Spanish village after which the painting is named after, the profits raised by this mural-sized canvas were used for Spanish war relief.
2. The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living — Damien Hirst (1991)
Damien Hirst is to Britart what Andy Warhol was to American pop-art. He very much defined the genre with his 1991 piece, which was a tiger shark preserved in formaldehyde and vitrine. After its decay, a new shark was used again in 2006. Hirst’s work often doesn’t say anything on its own and is completely open to interpretation. This shark can invoke fear of large predators or pride about the fact that you, while just a human, are at the top of the food chain. It is whatever you want it to be.
3. Tree — Paul McCarthy(2014)
Okay, don’t be a pervert. This is a Christmas tree, not a… uhm… what you were thinking. The inflatable installation was shown in Paris around Christmas in 2014 and stirred a lot of emotions amongst journalists, art critics, and people on Tumblr. Coincidentally, this art installation brought a huge boom of sales in Parisian sex shops.
4. Fountain — Marcel Duchamp (1917)
This art piece defined contemporary art. While it’s just a urinal flipped on its side, it is most definitely art. What is art, if not objects, paintings, or sounds that stir up emotions in the individual and in society?