Nude Christ in JFK Airport

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Artist: Deborah Masters

Year: 2001

Date of Action: April 2001

Region: North America

Location: JFK Airport, New York, NY

Subject: Nudity

Medium: Installation, Mixed Media

Confronting Bodies: JFK Airport Officials

Description of Artwork: A 300-foot long mixed-media mural depicting scenes of New York City life, with an 18-inch depiction of a nude, crucified Christ

The Incident: After receiving several complaints from construction workers at the airport, the Catholic League contacted JFK officials to inquire about the mural. The Catholic League expressed its concern at having a nude depiction of Jesus remain in an airport terminal, and requested that the airport speak with the artist about altering her rendering of Christ

Results of Incident: The artist was consulted, and, claiming that she had meant to cover up Christ's genitals with the addition of a garment, Masters painted a loincloth to alleviate the airport employees' distress. City officials, including Mayor Giuliani, were not involved in the momentary controversy.