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As the fury over The Spear painting grows, Brett Murray has been hounded by journalists on a soundbyte mission.
He has managed to evade most of them. However, we convinced the artist whose painting has touched the president on his studio and inspired this crossword clue – Um, a SA prez may be well hung (4, 5)* – to answer our questions.
Brett, the Zuma Spear may be a painting, but is it art?
Art? Absolutely not. I love Bridge over Troubled Water, and anyone who thinks I would paint my favourite singer’s schlong can Garfunkel themselves. Besides it’s clear that the man in The Spear is the prez. I’m not that cr*p.
You’ve received flak from many quarters but where has the worst hate come from?
From satirists and lampoonists who think I’ve pushed the spoof envelope so far I could get a job with the post office. Zapiro told me he’s throwing his pen away because anything he comes up with now will be limp.
So, who actually bought the painting?
I promised not to reveal his identity but contrary to media reports the buyer is not a European penis art collector. What I can say is that the buyer’s name starts with a “J” and ends with an “Uliusmalema”. He told me he can’t wait to nail Zuma to the wall and hang him out to dry.
The buyer is my biggest supporter and has offered to bail me out should people decide to “Kill the Artist for Zuma”. It’s good to know a used condom has my back.
What do you think of calls for you to be stoned?
It’s insulting and deeply worrying. I have spoken to lawyers about the possibility of suing. The stereotype that all artists are dagga rookers is unfair. Sure, some smoke weed occasionally but it’s not right to, um, paint all artists with the same brush.
What’s your response to the president’s accusation that you made him look like a philanderer?
All I did was paint the Honourable Member’s not-so-honourable member.
He has had it out so often that, quite frankly, I’m surprised more people haven’t seen it. Besides, politicians do most of their talking from their underpants and I wanted to give an accurate representation of this.
What right do you have to bring the president’s private parts into the public domain?
I used the president’s |pubic affairs to prick a nation’s |consciousness.
What do you think of The Spear now it has been defaced?
I think you’ll find the technical term is “dedicked”. I’m not sure why the president is going after me. If anyone he should sue the vandals. I depicted him in all his glory; and their Jackson-Pollock-style collaboration has castrated him. At least the Vatican had the decency to use over-sized fig leaves when they went after Michelangelo’s phalanx of phalluses.
What’s next for Brett Murray?
I’ll stick with penis art until this storm in a JZ Y-front blows over. I’ve been commissioned to do portraits of Dick Cheney, Dick Nixon, the two Willies (Clinton and Nelson), LB Johnson, the Dick of Edinburgh and Dickgang Moseneke. I’ll have my hands full for a while. After all, the world is full of dicks.