This is the artwork that South Africa has been hearing so much about over the last few days. It’s 1.85 metres tall, and it’s called The Spear. It was created by Brett Murray and is on show at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg as part of his ‘Hail to the Thief II’ Exhibition. Lots of people are rather upset about this painting, but what happened to freedom of speech? Aren’t people allowed to paint whatever they like?I understand that it’s a bit disrespectful, but I believe that respect must be earned. This would never happen to Mandela, because he has earned our respect over the years and he was a great president.
It was defaced sometime yesterday (see below). All that this does is draw more attention to the artwork? I feel sorry for the guy who bought the painting! Correct me if I’m wrong but apparently it was sold for like R700 000? After the defacing it was reported that the Gallery took down the painting, and it is now in a safe location.
And of course, Zapiro got involved too.
One of my favourite things about this painting is the response from Tselane Tambo, the daughter of Oliver Tambo. Apparently she posted this message on a social networking site:
“So the Pres JZ has had his portrait painted and he doesn’t like it. Do the poor enjoy poverty? Do the unemployed enjoy hopelessness? Do those who can’t get housing enjoy homelessness? He must get over it. No one is having a good time. He should inspire the reverence he craves. This portrait is what he inspired. Shame neh!” (Source)
I agree with Tselana Tambo. There are far more important things to focus on rather than this painting of President Zuma. The government should be improving their service delivery and acting on their promises, then respect will be earned.
You can see the other artwork from Brett Murray’s exhibition here.