The Brett Murray painting that was subject of controversy for the past few days have been defaced at the Goodman Gallery today. (Watch video here (click))
The painting which portrayed South African President Jacob Zuma with genitals hanging from his trousers, titled The Spear and exhibited as part of of Murray’s Hail to the Thief II exhibition, has caused an uproar among many in the ruling African National Congress and Zuma’s own household – with his daughters complaining that their father’s dignity was disturbed by his depiction in the painting.
As the ANC was appearing before the South Gauteng High Court to have the painting removed from display at the Goodman Gallery, two men entered the gallery where the painting was being exhibited and started defacing it by applying black and red paint to it. The two accomplices, one old and the other young, entered the gallery carrying paint and a paint brush.
The older one started by applying red paint to the painting in the form of two crosses – one on the genital area and another to the face. The younger man followed by applying black paint with his hand across the portrait.
One of the suspects allegedly told a BBC reporter that the painting “was offensive.”
Both the suspects were arrested and taken to the Rosebank police station. Charges are yet being laid.