Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Monkey portrait of Bush stirs controversy

who should be more offended here, the monkeys or bush?

Artwork in an exhibition that drew thousands to the Chelsea Market for its opening last week was abruptly taken down over the weekend after the market's managers complained about a portrait of President George Bush fashioned from tiny images of chimpanzees, says the show's curator.

Bucky Turco, who organised the show, said a market director had expressed reservations about the Bush portrait, a small, colourful painting by Christopher Savido, a 23-year-old illustrator from Pittsburgh.

From afar it appears to be a likeness of the President, but closer inspection reveals chimps swimming in a marshy landscape.

Mr Turco said no one had told him that hanging the work would result in the show's cancellation. "I approached them with the idea of bringing an edgy show by emerging artists here. I showed them an issue of our magazine, and they were psyched," said Mr Turco, publisher of Animal, a quarterly publication that features photographs and graphics inspired by urban culture.

Story here.

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