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Controversial Zuma artwork not a pretty picture:

Sunday May 20, 2012

The ruling African National Congress has threatened legal action against a Johannesburg gallery for displaying art which lampoons President Jacob Zuma and accuses the party of corruption.

The ANC wants the Goodman Gallery to remove a painting called The Spear, which depicts the president with his genitals exposed, and another work with a For Sale sign over the party logo.

The picture of Zuma is in the style of a well-known poster of communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin. The president is depicted in Lenin’s heroic stance, except his genitals hang outside of his trousers.

The works are in a collection called Hail to the Thief and which questions whether the century-old ANC has lost its moral compass.

Other works include a Soviet-style poster reading: “The Kleptocrats” and “We demand Chivas, BMWs and Bribes”.

It’s making a mockery of the highest office,” ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu said the artist was within his rights to express himself but said The Spear was “vulgar” and ridiculed Zuma.

The collection highlights public perception of growing corruption in government.

The Spear, by well-known anti-apartheid artist Brett Murray, has already sold for R136,000 ($21,543).

  • AP