Friday, June 8, 2012
Too far, too far fetched, or freedom?
This past week I stumbled across controversies in the art world. The picture that I posted is a portion of the painting of President Jacob Zuma. What I neglected to show was the most controversial part of the art. Hanging within the painting was a picture of male genitals. The artist, Brent Murray, is white, and Zuma is the Black leader of the former apartheid state South Africa. Reminiscent of a Lenin painting, the artists is taking a poke (pun intended) at a president who has been married six times and is the father of more than 20 children. The economy is also poor under Zuma's watch. Murray is an anti- apartheid artists and has given white leaders similar treatment. Because of the sexual connotations and the historic caricatures of the over- sexualized Black male, there have been multiracial protests by people in South Africa. The painting was defaced and there have been arrests. The painting has been removed amid the controversy. My oldest son is an artist and we constantly have discussion over his art. Some of the art is too risque for my taste, but it is his art. According to my son the artist has to create his or her own art. Art in its purest form is truth. Can an artist go too far? If so, what is too far?