The Prodigal Son Returns

You might have heard of Robert Mapplethorpe, the artist whose exhibit “The Perfect Moment” was the focus of the film Dirty Pictures and which led to Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center standing trial for obscenity after hosting the exhibition. But have you heard of Mike Diana? Only a few years after the famed Mapplethorpe case was acquitted, Diana became the first artist to be convicted of obscenity in the United States. And now he’s coming to the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St., Miami) to talk about it. His comic Boiled Angel, which depicted everything from child rape to feces-covered crosses to cannibalism, brought about a hellhound of a trial with all the makings for a trampling of the Constitution. The results included, among other things, three years of probation, a $3,000 fine, and random searches and seizures of his home and his papers by police officers and members of the Salvation Army. After the conviction, the Pinellas County artist left Florida and hasn’t returned in 15 years, until now. The event at MAM will center on Diana describing his experiences leading up to, during, and after his trial.
Thu., May 16, 6:30 p.m., 2013
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Travis Cohen is a writer for Miami New Times and covers subjects ranging from arts and architecture to marijuana and monkeys with herpes. He graduated with honors from Vanderbilt University with a bachelor's degree in English in 2012 and began working with New Times shortly thereafter. He was born and raised in Miami.

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