Chris Ofili (born 1968) is a British painter noted for artworks referencing aspects of his Nigerian heritage. He is one of the Young British Artists. He is a Turner Prize winner and his work has been a source of controversy.
One of his paintings, The Holy Virgin Mary, a depiction (portrait) of the Virgin Mary, was at issue in a lawsuit between the mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art when it was exhibited there in 1999 as a part of the "Sensation" exhibit. The painting depicted a black African Mary surrounded by images from blaxploitation movies and close-ups of female genitalia cut from pornographic magazines, and elephant dung. These were formed into shapes reminiscent of the cherubim and seraphim commonly depicted in images of the Immaculate conception and the Assumption of Mary.
Edward Koch, Former Mayor, New York City, Robinson, Silverman, Pearce; Bill Donahue, President, Catholic League; Michael Kimmelman, New York Times; Floyd Abrams, First Amendment Attorney