A Wisconsin art museum is defending the decision to display a controversial portrait of the previous pope composed entirely of condoms. The Milwaukee Art Museum announced “Eggs Benedict,” Niki Johnson’s condom likeness of Pope Benedict XVI, will go on display starting in November. UPI reports:
Johnson, who finished the piece in 2013, said “Eggs Benedict” was inspired by the then-pope’s comments about the potential for contraception to increase the spread of human immunodeficiency virus in Africa. She described the artwork to WITI-TV as “an act of protest.”
“‘Eggs Benedict’, the piece, investigates the role of world leaders and public health,” Johnson said. Brady Roberts, chief curator at the Milwaukee Art Museum, said not everyone has to agree with the painting’s message.
“This is a controversial work. This is an artist that has a point of view and not everyone is going to embrace that point of view,” Roberts said. “The artists have been very clear this is not an attack on the Catholic Church or Catholics. This is about AIDS.” Roberts said the museum is not concerned about controversy. “This is our role — to stimulate dialogue,” Roberts said.