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Iconic Black Madonna visited London

The Madonna of the Apricot and the Snake, by artist Ulla Karttunen, ARTROOMS2017 London

A new velvet version of an older work, The Madonna of the Apricot and the Snake, invited visiters to touch the canvas at ARTROOMS2017 in London.

The work was first exhibited in the exhibition Ecstatic Women [Ekstaattisia naisia], at the gallery of Helsinki Art Museum HAM 2008 (the work was also printed to the invitation card), and then as a new aluminium-mounted diasec at Ulla’s large solo show The Divine: Sanctifiers from the Dark Planet (Jumalaiset: pyhittäjänaisia pimeältä planeetalta] at The Joensuu Art Museum 2011.

In the following years the work has become an iconic representation of  contemporary black madonnas, seen in different occasions, from media-star Oprah’s Twitter-account to articles of the mystery cult of black madonnas. The image is quite popular in pinterest, many times pinned anonymously without reference to artist’s or artwork’s name, like here https://fi.pinterest.com/pin/189151253071567264/ (+551 boards), but many times also with, like here https://fi.pinterest.com/pin/416160821790674623/ (pinned in over 600 boards), or here https://fi.pinterest.com/pin/399272323199788152/ (+235 boards), or here https://fi.pinterest.com/pin/38702878023636871/) with a text:

“”The Madonna of the Apricot and the Snake” by Finnish artist Ulla Karttunen. Wow. Magnetic. Has seen things, terrible and full of awe. What you think of her doesn’t matter. Apricot: likely the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge in Eden. In the Renaissance, an aphrodisiac and inducer of childbirth. Sweet fruits were ”pleasant encouragement for good.” She offers us the most pleasant, succulent, golden fruit, soft and lush. The serpent of wisdom and power hovers in the periphery of her vision.”

Ulla Karttunen: The Madonna of the Apricot and the Snake Ulla Karttunen: The Madonna of the Apricot and the SnakeBlack Madonnas by Ulla Karttunen at the Joensuu Art Museum solo show  At The Joensuu Art Museum the Black Madonnas stayed in a hall painted black for the occasion, lit by a chandelier made from barbed wire

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