Papal portrait made of condoms being offered for public sale

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- After a month of worldwide attention Eggs Benedict, Niki Johnson’s portrait of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI woven from 17,000 condoms, is being offered for public sale.

A percentage of the final sale price will go toward AIDS research and advocacy.

An initial bid of $20,000 has been offered by Milwaukee LBGT activist and philanthropist Joseph R. Pabst. Offers are being accepted at

The deadline for bidding is May 21, 2013. The artwork is on view at the Portrait Society Gallery through May 28, 2013.

Eggs Benedict is encased in plexiglass and presented in a gold frame with an attached base, measuring 83 x 60 x 12 inches. The front features a photo-realist, condom-woven rendition of the pope based on a 2009 media image.

Johnson was inspired to create this piece following comments made by Pope Benedict during his tour of Africa in 2009. Benedict stated, “I would say that this problem of AIDS cannot be overcome merely with money, necessary though it is. If there is no human dimension, if Africans do not help, the problem cannot be overcome by the distribution of prophylactics: on the contrary, they increase it.”

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