Naked Zuma painting degrading to women - ANC

2015-10-13 18:00

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Johannesburg - A painting in which President Jacob Zuma's genitals are depicted is distasteful and degrading to women, the ANC said on Tuesday.

"In a country where you have high incidences of violence against women, to depict a woman in that manner is just degrading," national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told News24. 

"[It is] insensitive to a country with high levels of women abuse and violence against women," he said. 

"His [the artist's] dislike of the president must not blind him to the reality of issues faced by society..."

The painting, The Pornography of Power, is artist Ayanda Mabulu's view of South African society.

Kodwa said the ANC supported artists' work, but that they should be respectful.

He said Mabulu was just another attention seeker and his painting undermined the power of art.

"He can express his views about the direction of the country, express the same views, but in a more respectful way.

"You don't need to use vulgarity to stress your unhappiness, your feelings about the things you don't like. You don't need to depict the president in that manner to show how much you don't like him."

The 33-year-old Mabula said earlier: "There is no more time to... beat around the bush when you are painting. I made it my journey to paint and write and talk about what's happening in our society."

Mabulu, who is based at the Bag Factory artists studios in Johannesburg, is not the first to depict the president's genitals as social commentary. Artist Brett Murray's The Spear had paint thrown at it and it was the subject of an urgent court application by the ANC.

It sparked a call by some in the ANC to boycott City Press. The newspaper published a picture of it in May 2012, but subsequently took it off its website.

Mabulu said this work expressed many of the ideas of Steve Biko and Frantz Fanon and of the slave "trainer" Willie Lynch.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  ayanda mabulu  |  zuma painting

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