Rudy can’t fail: … All you have to do is set up an art exhibit, let it feature a prominent black artist’s transgressive vision of Catholicism and watch him lose his natural mind.

That photograph, a 15-foot panel called “Yo Mama’s Last Supper” by Renee Cox, was shown in the summer of 1996 at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Conn. “We were prepared for a fuss, to be frank,” said the Aldrich’s director, Harry Philbrick. “And none came.”

The nude picture, which is of the photographer herself surrounded by 12 black apostles, was also shown in 1999 at a church in Venice, Italy. “Get over it,” Ms. Cox said yesterday of the mayor’s reaction, adding that “I don’t produce work that necessarily looks good over somebody’s couch.”

The Brooklyn Museum had only a muted response yesterday to Mr. Giuliani’s remarks. “While many of these works are beautiful and easy to enjoy, others may be controversial and difficult for us as viewers,” the museum’s director, Arnold L. Lehman, said in a statement. “Throughout history, the artist’s responsibility has been to make us think.”

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