Oh man, when was the last time we had a good artistic freedom vs. religion controversy? Hmm... maybe the Black Virgin Mary covered in poo back in 2000-- which itself was nothing compared to Serrano's Piss Christ back in 1989. Well, here's a new one! CBS reports on the National Black Fine Arts Show at the Puck Building:

But the writer had big problems with a painting by Harlem artist "Tafa". It depicts an upside down Christ-like figure with a face strongly resembling Osama Bin Laden. The email read in part, "This is outrageous. This is an attack against my religion. How can an artist go so low? Most people are outraged, most Christians."

On the phone with me, the artist declined to do an on-camera interview, telling me the work speaks for itself, but adding, the resemblance to Bin Laden was no accident.

What outrages us is that the painting is upside-down, which means you either have to stand on your head to really see it, or take a picture and rotate it in Photoshop, which is inconvenient, to say the least. Beyond that, eh-- a crappy painting at a small show is probably not going to offend too many New Yorkers.