Friday, 25 May 2012

Murray's The Spear

I thought you might like to see that South African painting all the fuss is about: Brett Murray's The Spear (2012). It's based on Victor Ivanov's poster of Lenin and depicts SA President Jacob Zuma with his flies undone. It caused a furore when it appeared in Murray's exhibition Hail to the Thief II in the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg. Zuma's ruling party the ANC is livid. Three days ago two men vandalised the painting and the gallery was forced to close. Zuma's Zulu lifestyle is the inspiration for the painting. He has been married six times, has four wives, at least 21 children, has admitted fathering a child by another woman, was tried for rape and seems to believe that a shower after sex is sufficient protection against AIDs (CLICK). A worthy target for lampooning, you might think. The latest news is that Zuma has gone to the High Court, claiming that his privates ... er ... privacy and dignity were being violated by the painting. The defence argues that the artwork is a legitimate exercise of freedom of artistic expression. This has become a major test of South Africa's constitution and has made headlines around the world. (CLICK).


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