Pray for Satan is the first online exhibition to map the work of Normal Bob Smith (Robert Hain). Over the past 30 years, Normal Bob has worked in illustration, video, photography, performance, merchandising, and internet-based media. His controversial art confronts religion, freedom of speech, sexual predators, exploitation, and offbeat kinks, provoking uncomfortable questions. Whether through his straightforward graphic style or his more conceptual pieces, Normal Bob simplifies complicated issues into quirky images and interactive artworks with an apparent innocence and an underlying provocation. Normal Bob is consistently concerned with social equity and morality but invokes these deeper issues with tongue-in-cheek wit. As a peculiar and playful online exhibition, Pray for Satan asks how Normal Bob’s uncanny skill for creating conversation and debate might also create an opening onto the messiness of contemporary discourse. What is too risqué to say? Is anything too sacred for satire? Why are we, as a society, afraid to discuss certain issues? Channeling the power of punk, Normal Bob’s heretical work challenges normativity, and, seen together, his works comprise an important case study in radical individualism, religious criticism, and how contemporary art thrives outside the mainstream.

Read the entire catalog essay here

Click on the images  to explore

Normal Bob's work

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