Cape Town artist praises Zuma painter

2012-05-23 17:05
Johannesburg - A Cape Town artist has praised painter Brett Murray for his controversial portrait of President Jacob Zuma, The Star reported on Wednesday.

Satirical artist Ayanda Mabulu said Murray's The Spear, which depicts Zuma with his genitals exposed, was powerful. There was no room for "phoney metaphors" when it came to social commentary, he said.

He criticised the African National Congress for taking the matter to court.

"[The ANC] are dark and illiterate. They must go back to school and come back tomorrow."

He said art knew no colour or race as it spoke a universal language.

Mabulu himself painted Zuma with his penis showing in 2010. The painting Ngcono ihlwempu kunesibhanxo sesityebi (Better Poor than a Rich Puppet) features Zuma and seven other world leaders such as Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, and Desmond Tutu. Tutu is naked in the painting.

In the painting Zuma's penis is supported by a crutch, a metaphor, according to Mabulu, showing Zuma's sexual escapades were out of control and needed help, The Star reported.

Two men defaced the portrait with red and black paint, obscuring the face and waist of the figure on Tuesday morning. They were released from the Rosebank police station late on Tuesday night on bail of R1 000 each. They would appear in the Johannesburg Regional Court on Wednesday.

A third person, who was arrested for allegedly trying to spray paint the word "respect" on a wall of the Goodman Gallery, appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate's Court and was released on R1 000 bail. All three face charges of malicious damage to property.

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