What the devil? Florida artist is forced to remove public artwork he intended as a self-portrait of his struggles with alcohol addiction after residents complained it is ‘satanic’
- Aaron Corbitt said on Saturday that his painting was banned in Lakeland, Florida
- Artist revealed that painting was meant to show the damages of alcohol addition
- Titled ‘The Fall of Dionysus’ it depicts a man tumbling into a pit as others look on
- Was part of a series of public artwork that depict various ancient Greek gods
- But members of the community complained the painting appeared ‘satanic’
A painting has been removed from public display in Florida after residents complained that it appeared ‘satanic.’
Artist Aaron M. Corbitt revealed on Saturday that he had been asked to remove his painting ‘The Fall of Dionysus’ from a series depicting Greek gods in Lakeland, Florida after complaints of satanism.
‘I would like to publicly apologize for anyone who is offended by this piece, and also to state that never in my career would I intentionally insult or offend a religion or culture with my artwork,’ Corbitt wrote in a Facebook post.
‘My intentions for this painting were strictly personal, dealing only with my abuse with alcohol that led me to a downward spiral that almost cost me everything, my friends, my family, my beautiful dear wife, and ultimately my own life,’ he continued.
Artist Aaron M. Corbitt revealed on Saturday that he had been asked to remove his painting titled ‘The Fall of Dionysus’ (center) from the series depicting Greek gods in Lakeland, Florida
Corbitt (above) apologized to anyone he had offended and said he wasn’t angry about the decision to remove the painting, but wanted to explain the intention behind his art
Corbitt’s painting, which is about seven feet by nine feet, and depicts a figure tumbling into a pit of flames and surrounded by several other tormented-looking individuals.
The work was one of a series of five paintings depicting Greek mythological figures that Corbitt made for the Tapestries Lakeland project, which publicly displays artwork from local artists.
The painting was removed after several complaints to city officials, including Mayor Bill Mutz, Lakeland spokesman Kevin Cook told the The Ledger.
Corbitt said that he wasn’t angry about the decision, but wanted to explain that the painting in question depicted Dionysus, the Greek god of wine.
‘The figures in the far upper right represents the conflict to reach for higher meaning in life, the scary looking dudes at the bottom represent the damage I’ve caused myself with delusions and negligence,’ he said.
The work was one of a series of five paintings depicting Greek mythological figures that Corbitt made for the Tapestries Lakeland project
‘The figures in the far upper right represents the conflict to reach for higher meaning in life, the scary looking dudes at the bottom represent the damage I’ve caused myself with delusions and negligence,’ Corbitt explained about the artwork, seen in a preliminary sketch above
‘This painting was salvation for me, the emotional impact was almost devastating to relive all the horror I’ve put myself and others through,’ he continued.
Corbitt’s remarks drew hundreds of supportive remarks, as well as some from residents who shared their concerns about the work’s display.
‘The best I could interpret from looking at it, was that It seemed confusing, dark and satanic like to me,’ wrote Lakeland resident Joel Vann.
‘In my opinion, you have many great pieces that are suitable for a public space, however this particular piece is too subjective & made for a gallery not the busiest street in Lakeland,’ he continued.
Vann stressed that he had not complained to any public officials about the work, but wanted to share his perspective.