A controversial depiction of South Africa's polygamist President, Jacob Zuma, with his fly open and manhood exposed was one of the first works to sell when satirical artist Brett Murray’s new exhibition opened at the Goodman Gallery in Johannesburg this week.
A visiting art lover reportedly walked in off the street and bought the 1.85m-high piece, along with a few others. The work was priced at R136 000 in the exhibition catalogue, and depicts a portrait of Jacob Zuma in the pose of the Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist, Vladimir Lenin.
The buyer apparently lives in Europe and the work will be shipped off when the show closes.
(View the news report in Citypress, or in Afrikaans in Rapport.)
Other artwork displayed in Murray’s latest exhibition can be viewed here.
I strongly doubt that inspiration for this piece was imparted on the mind of the artist exclusively because Zuma is a polygamist who has been married six times, and who is reportedly father to at least 18 children. Zuma’s 2005-2006 rape trail, during which he admitted to having unprotected sex with his accuser, and thereafter taking a shower to ‘prevent’ the risk of contracting HIV, must surely have also been a source of inspiration.
It will be interesting to see if Zuma is going to institute a defamation lawsuit against this artist, or not.