Friday, May 18, 2012
Canada: Nude portrait of Prime Minister creates a stir.
n Kingston Ontario a nude painting of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was submitted by Kingston artist Margaret Sutherland to the Arts Council's Annual Juried Art Salon.
The painting is titled "Emperor Haute Couture" . Its on display in a Kingston Public Library. I presume that the entrance to the library has some suitable warning about this library contains adult content etc..However the library decided that the painting would be removed when children's events are held in the room where the painting is displayed. The artist objected to this so a compromise was reached. The nude is now covered with a cloth making it opaque to the naked eye when children are present.
The painting is a political satire and is a takeoff on an 1863 painting by Manet called Olympia.which features a Venus like nude attended to by a slave. In the Sutherland painting the nude Harper is attended to by a headless woman in a power suit who gives him a Tim Hortons coffee on a silver plate. There is a dog in the painting.
The prime minister's office issued a release pointing out that everyone knows that the prime minister is a cat person. An opposition member said that this was one time when he was in favor of a Conservative coverup. For more see this article and here in the local paper.
UPDATE: You are too late the painting has been sold for 5,000 dollars. The buyer's identity has not been revealed. Probably a good investment.