South Africa 12.7.2016 05:26 pm

Mabulu ‘hits below the belt’ with Gupta-Zuma paintings

Ayanda Mabulu poses in front of his controversial painting on exhibit at Constitution Hill, 13 July 2016, depicting a sexually explicit relationship between Zuma and Atul Gupta.  Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Ayanda Mabulu poses in front of his controversial painting on exhibit at Constitution Hill, 13 July 2016, depicting a sexually explicit relationship between Zuma and Atul Gupta. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

Just when you thought President Zuma had had to endure enough at the hands of SA’s artists, Ayanda Mabulu has again combined pornography with attempts at satire.

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.

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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.

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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 ‏@Trixx_Ray said.

“If President Zuma was my father I guess I was gonna visit Ayanda Mabulu and maybe have coffee,” Spikiri ‏@mxomandla said.

https://twitter.com/rockboysRocafel/status/752876783813464066

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.

 

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