ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

The contemporary art world might be viewed as an elitist, intellectual space, but it is often so much darker are more bloodthirsty than that.

In my last piece about the bloodiest artworks I promised that there were plenty more gruesome pieces out there for you to gawp at, and below are some examples that would definitely be banned if they were movies....

1. Amanda Feilding - Heartbeat Of The Brain

In a scene reminiscent of the one below from Aronofsky's Pi, Amanda Fielding performed a self-trepanation on herself with an electric drill in 1970.

The artist and scientist believed that the ancient medical procedure in which a small hole is cut out of the skull would increase cerebral circulation, by allowing the heartbeat to fully express itself through the brain.

When the movie was screened it is reported that more than one audience remember fainted as Fielding successfully extracts a slice of her own skull from the self-inflicted wound.

Check out the clip from Aronofsky's movie Pi:

2. Cedric Chambers - The Prophet

Cedric Chambers managed to offend just about everyone with his piece entitled 'The Prophet' that pictures Darth Vader carrying Jesus from the burning ruins of the 9/11 attacks.

Chambers claims that the deliberately provocative painting was dreamed up out of more than a desire to garner as much attention as possible though. The 23-year-old artist explains on his website that:

The relationship between Jesus, and Darth Vader is a messianic one. Both are prophets with similar aspects; virgin births, self-sacrifice, magical powers

3. Pyotr Pavlensky - Fixation

In 2014 Pablensky nailed his scrotum to the floor in the Red Square to express his a deep disdain for the political environment in Russia. He claimed that the violent act was:

A metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of modern Russian society

Pablensky has also sewn his own lips together to protest the treatment of punk band Pussy Riot and chopped off his own earlobe to highlight the forced psychiatric treatment of politically inconvenient individuals.

4. Plastic Jesus - Cocaine Oscar

L.A. based street artist Plastic Jesus took a pop at the less savory side of celebrity culture with his cocaine snorting Oscar statue that appeared on Hollywood Boulevard days before the award ceremony.

5. Marni Kotak - The Birth of Baby X

While most people would agree that the birth of a baby is a beautiful thing, it's hard to imagine watching a total stranger in the intimate process of giving birth.

Marni Kotak decided that giivng birth was "the highest form of art" and wanted the general public to be able to share the experience. So, in 2011 she gave birth in the an inflatable pool at the Micro­­scope Gallery in Brooklyn.

After the birth of the baby (who was named Ajax) Kotak descended into post-partum depression and she also documented her struggles through this difficult time in a series of art works.

6. Pete Doherty - Untitled

British rocker and Libertines frontman Pete Doherty is just as well known for his drug use as his music, so it's hardly surprising that hypodermic needles made their way into his artwork.

Doherty used the hypodermic needles that he took heroin with to splatter blood across his canvases and sign his own name in blood.

Unsurprisingly, his art career never really took off.

7. Ron Athey - Saint Sebastian

Image: Rosia Gaia Saunders

American performance artist Ron Athey's performances all involve bloodletting and mutilation with the most famous piece being 'Saint Sebastien,' a homage to the Christian martyr who is often depicted full of arrows.

Athey claims that his work explores challenging subjects like the relationships between desire, sexuality and trauma. His use of S&M is a challenge on preconceived ideas about the body in relation to masculinity and religious iconography.

(Source: The Mirror and The Richest, Lost Media, Dazed)


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