Self Portrait of a Martyr
Region: North America
Artist: Cong Lu, "Lucong"
Confronting Bodies: Students at the Art Students League of Denver (ASLD)
Date of Action: November 14, 2002
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Description of Artwork: Self Portrait of a Martyr is a depiction of a young Asian man lifting his shirt up revealing his torso strapped with explosives, and a pistol tucked into his waistband.
The Incident: After Lucong's receipt of a Student Best of Show award his paintings was hung in the main lobby of the ASLD. Shortly thereafter, several students complained about the painting, calling it anti-American, anti-Semitic and anti-Christian. These students wanted the painting moved to a less prominent spot in the school.
Results of Incident: The artist's right to self-expression and the artworks placement received the full support of the executive director of the ALSD, the faculty and the board of directors. The painting remained in its location.
Source: NCAC, from an article in the RockyMountainNews.com