Banksy’s Bad Cardinal

12.16.11 Marina Galperina

This new Banksy sculpture was just unveiled at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Entitled Cardinal Sin, the 18th-century style, tile-pixelated bust is a precise, minimalist jab at molestation cover-up ordained by the Vatican. Yet, to make things a bit more direct, it’s signed by the artist: “The statue? I guess you could call it a Christmas present. At this time of year it’s easy to forget the true meaning of Christianity – the lies, the corruption, the abuse… I’m never sure who deserves to be put on a pedestal or crushed under one.”

The piece wins something else with its site specific display. With pride, it loiters on a pedestal among actual 18th-century work, almost seamlessly. Almost. The gallery is very pleased in acquiring the work, saluting its cultural significance with warm, warm kudos because we all know how much the academic and high brow art communities lerv Banksy.