Those critics have decried Rosales’ artwork as a “disgrace,” “disgusting” and “cultural appropriation.”
The uproar over this particular interpretation of “The Creation of God” is odd: Literally thousands of versions of the painting exist, from sincere homages to jokey parodies. “The Simpsons” has spoofed the iconic image at least five times, while “Arrested Development” used the work of art as a hilarious set piece, with its “Adam” clad in cutoff denim shorts. You can even buy a sticker or throw-pillow depicting the scene as re-created by 1990s cult cartoon characters Beavis and Butthead.
Plus, “The Creation of God” is part of a long and very serious tradition of artists reinterpreting or remixing classic works of art in order to make a cultural, social or political statement. Andy Warhol combined religious and commercial iconography in his 60 versions of Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper.” Contemporary artist Sherrie Levine questions the idea of authorship by copying artists like photographer Walker Evans and Marcel Duchamp (who himself gave the “Mona Lisa” a mustache in the name of the Dada movement). Painter Kehinde Wiley has reimagined several aggrandizing European portraits — such as one of Napoleon on a horse — by replacing their white protagonists with urban black youths.
So, what makes Rosales’ black Goddess so offensive to these detractors?
Source: New York Post