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"Portrait of George (Moscone)": Finally on Display at SFMOMA 

Wednesday, Jun 13 2012

The passage of time makes major art controversies seem almost petty. So it is with Robert Arneson's Portrait of George (Moscone), which divided San Francisco along fault lines: Those who said Arenson's sculpture of slain mayor George Moscone was a blasphemous abomination, and those who said it suited a city that embraced irreverence and artistic license. SFMOMA's acquisition of Portrait of George (Moscone) allows the public to see for itself Arenson's divisive choices: the bullet holes, the faux blood, the words "Bang, Bang, Bang" and the Twinkie image — all references to Dan White's gruesome 1978 assassination of Moscone. Portrait of George (Moscone) retains its edginess, and its inclusion at SFMOMA is a fitting tribute. The sculpture now has a public permanence it didn't achieve in Arneson's lifetime.

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Jonathan Curiel

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