Chris Ofili at New Museum

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35 large-scale paintings, dozens of works on paper, and four sculptures make up British artist Chris Ofili’s astonishing show at the New Museum. Bold and ominous, mixing classic mythological imagery with that of psychedelic dream-scapes and contemporary erotica, Ofili’s paintings will pull you into their earnestly mischievous world and leave you wishing there were ten more rooms to roam through.

Ofili originally made waves in New York fifteen years ago, when then mayor Rudolph Giuliani vehemently fought to remove one of the artist’s works from the walls of the Brooklyn Museum, even threatening to terminate the institutions lease. “The Holy Virgin Mary,” on display now at the New Museum, features a portrait of the Virgin Mary stained with elephant dung, a material Ofili frequently uses and originally collected during an art study trip to Zimbabwe in the early 90’s. Fortunately Giuliani lost that battle. It’s unlikely that you’ll catch him meandering through the halls of the New Museum this month but don’t let that stop you from checking out this incredible show.

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