A new painting of President Jacob Zuma with his genitals exposed is an insult, the ANC in the Eastern Cape said on Tuesday.
“It hurts us to find this nasty painting especially after the painful incident involving one desperate fellow, Brett Murray, and the City Press,” spokesman Mlibo Qoboshiyane said in a statement.
“One thing is for sure, a number of broke and uncreative individuals masquerading as artists insult the president by painting these clumsy things in search for quick cash.”
According to The Star, artist Ayanda Mabulu’s painting of Zuma dancing in traditional attire with his penis exposed, entitled “Umshini Wam” (Weapon of Mass Destruction) is part of an exhibition “Our Fathers”. The painting went on display at the AVA Gallery in Cape Town on Monday night.
The exhibition also has works of Murray, whose controversial painting, “The Spear”, resulted in protests at Johannesburg’s Goodman Gallery in May.
“The Spear”, which also depicted Zuma with his genitals exposed, was vandalised and removed from display by the Goodman Gallery. City Press published a photo of it on its website, but removed it following a public outcry. The Film and Publication Board gave it a 16N rating.
Mabulu’s painting had a R75,000 price tag. The Spear was sold to a German buyer for R136,000.
Qoboshiyane said the new painting was an insult to Mabulu’s parents.
“It means Mabulu’s parents failed to raise him to be a respectful child,” he said.
Mabulu was quoted in The Star as saying: “The painting depicting Jacob Zuma is a respectful one. He is clothed in his culture. He is clothed in his manhood.
“He is not naked; I did not paint him with an uncircumcised penis. This is a metaphor that shows he is not a boy; he is a man, an elder, a father, a leader.”
Qoboshiyane dismissed this explanation.
“Clearly, this thing is an act of desperation by a struggling individual who relies on insults to hog the media headlines in his quest for relevance,” he said.