Here we go again: Ayanda Mabulu has again made “art” out of the family jewels of President Jacob Zuma and his friends. Mabulu’s new paintings nearly make Brett Murray’s controversial The Spear painting look like family entertainment by comparison.
Mabulu took aim at the controversial relationship between Zuma and the wealthy Gupta family. In the painting, he portrays Zuma and Atul Gupta as pilots, who happen to be engaging in explicit sexual activity while still on a flight. He depicts Zuma licking Atul’s behind in a painting one Twitter user described as “too graphic”. On another painting, an ANC flag can be seen hanging, although it can’t be seen in the section of painting shown below (note that we have blurred out the more offensive bits).
The painting is an obvious comment on the criticism that the president tends to kiss the Guptas’ behinds.
In the other painting, the Number 1 citizen can be seen lying on what looks like a royal chair. In the painting, he is clearly exhausted and wearing animal-skin underwear. His private parts are also hanging out, looking similarly exhausted. Once again, we have blurred that out. Other details on the painting (such as a woman’s G-string next to a copy of the constitution, a high-heeled shoe and a government-issue condom wrapper) suggest that he is in a post-coital doze. The McDonald’s reference might be an allusion to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mabulu’s painting has offended a lot of people on Twitter, with someone suggesting that Zuma really must have done something very bad to Mabulu to deserve this awful depiction.
“I am not pro JZ [Jacob Zuma] but this Ayanda Mabulu paintings [sic] are disgusting. He has crossed a few lines here! This is not art,” Kwame. N. Mahlanga @DjKwame_sa tweeted.
“Ayanda Mabulu ‘s painting is a bit extreme. Degrading and humiliating the president in that manner though…,” REFILOE
“If President Zuma was my father I guess I was gonna visit Ayanda Mabulu and maybe have coffee,” Spikiri
On the other hand, some have commended Mabulu for practising his right to”artistic creativity”. #NotYetUhuru @Toolz91 said, “Let’s also not forget that Ayanda Mabulu is an artist, his freedom of expression will be through his art – none other way [sic].”
Panda Given Mogale @GivVi_G 3m3 said “Ayanda Mabulu is smart. Controversy is the best publicity in today’s society, since people are only remembered by their bad deeds.”
In October last year, the artist made headlines for drawing the president involved in another sexual act. In his work, titled “Spear Down My Throat (The Pornography of Power)”, he depicted a cackling Zuma with his penis down the throat of a woman being penetrated by a hyena in Victorian dress.
“The woman represents our country and all that she has to endure under this leadership. We are being milked dry,” Mabulu said in an interview with Culture Review.