Virgin Mary often just shortened to Toxic Mary, is an early artwork by street artist Banksy that was produced as an unsigned screen print edition of 600 in 2003.
Toxic Mary was first shown to the public in Banksy's 2003 London exhibition, Turf Wars. It shows the Virgin Mary feeding her infant son, Jesus Christ. It is a striking, bold and controversial piece considered blasphemous by many in religious circles. Art fans and Banksy collectors simply took the dark humoured piece at face value, speculating that what Banksy is actually commenting on is the relationship between mother and child. However, there is no doubt that we can also read some of Banksy's own religious views into this rather shocking piece. He could be saying that extreme religiousness and bigotry can, in fact, be poisonous, and that poison can be passed down through generations, and spread through families and communities. The only other obvious religious piece by Banksy is Christ With Shopping Bags, which uses religious iconography to comment on the way we worship capitalism and consumerism.
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