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Wim Delvoye's X-rated, X-rayed stained glass

Artist Wim Delvoye plays the trompe l’oeil card with visuals that prudes might find perverse, like his scatological ceramic tiles or pigs tattooed with the Louis Vuitton logo. The pigs earned him quite a buzz online along with the ire of animal rights activists earlier this year. And the blogosphere is buzzing once again over one of his installations in a Gothic-inspired building. What, at first glance, appears to be the kind of kaleidoscopic stained glass found in old towering cathedrals throughout Europe are actually anatomical X-rays. And Delvoye really puts the “X” in X-ray – many of these macabre designs are pretty racy.

Speaking of stained glass and Gothic cathedrals, a few weekends ago while watching a rerun of NOVA’s episode “Building the Great Cathedral,” I learned that the Gothic style of architecture earned its name from its early critics (you can never escape haters!) who named it after barbarians known as Goths.