Controversial painter Ayanda Mabulu ‘removed by police’ over new artwork

Mabulu's painting/protest at the JSE. Note, the image has been slightly censored. Picture: Twitter/Oliver Meth

Mabulu's painting/protest at the JSE. Note, the image has been slightly censored. Picture: Twitter/Oliver Meth

The man known for artworks criticised as ‘pornographic’ was determined on Wednesday to make the world see his Markus Jooste painting.

Protest artist Ayanda Mabulu, known for his often obscene paintings, was reportedly not in fact arrested in Sandton earlier today – the police later clarified he was merely “removed” and told not to return to the scene.

News24 reported that he was taken into custody outside the JSE and transported to the Morningside police station after his protest artwork Blame it on the Boer – against so-called white monopoly capital – was displayed outside the exchange on Maude Street. It included actual pig heads with money stuffed in them on the floor and money strewn about.

The controversial painting depicts disgraced former Steinhoff CEO Markus Jooste receiving oral sex from a black woman. The late AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche is also depicted, along with Nazi swastikas and the AWB logo.

Constitution Hill reportedly did not want to display the painting at an earlier exhibition this year.

Presumably the pornographic elements were publicly indecent while he did not have permission to stage it where he did. Eyewitness accounts suggested that he may have been fighting physically with police when they intervened to remove the display.

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

In the past, when asked what inspires him to paint his pornographic grotesques, Mabulu answered that it was simply the state of the country that inspired him. He is particularly famous for depicting former president Jacob Zuma in pornographic settings, including with Atul Gupta.

Mabulu’s painting Umshini Wam showed Zuma with his private parts exposed, and another shows Zuma having a sexual act performed on him by a woman with a saddle on her back while a man in a colonial outfit and the face of a hyena is having sex with her. He explained at the time that the painting was a commentary on South Africa being raped by big business with politicians enjoying some of the fruits of those spoils.

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