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Offline brandon

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I'm guessing that Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not pose for this portrait.

by Robin Levinson 
May 18, 2012 – 4:58 PM ET
 
Imagine your surprise if you showed up to work one day to find a portrait of Prime Minister Stephen Harper—in the nude—hanging in your office. That’s what happened to Chief Librarian Patricia Enright of the Kingston, Ont. Public Library. The painting in question —“Emperor Haute Couture” — by local artist Margaret Sutherland depicts the prime minister reclining on a chaise lounge, surrounded by suited sycophants bearing Tim Horton’s coffee.

The Kingston Arts Council chose the painting as part of the council’s annual juried art salon, but Enright had no idea about the politically charged nature of the selection until it was brought to the library for public display. “It’s hysterical,” said Joan Heaton, the president of the Kingston Art Council. “It’s all in the same category of political cartoons that we see in the paper all the time.”

The painting hangs in a community space that is often rented for children’s recitals, so Enright had to get creative herself, covering up the painting with a cloth supplied by the artist whenever the room was rented out by all-ages groups.

How did the painting wind up at the library?
We have a meeting room that we make available to local artists on a monthly basis. For about 11 years now the Kingston Arts Council has a juried show, and so this month the jury from the Kingston Arts Council chose the Emperors Haute Couture as one of the works to be in the juried salon.

Did you know that this painting was coming to the library?
No we didn’t until we saw it after it had been chosen by the jury.

What were your thoughts?
Part of our policy is that as a public library we support intellectual freedom. But the room is used as a multiple-purpose room — it’s not a public gallery. It’s a meeting room for public recitals. The library board asked if we could either take it down or cover it up when we’re having children’s recitals. Because we did have a complaint last year about some female nudes that were in an artist’s show.

What are you doing with the painting now?
Right now its hanging in our room. Only during these recitals would we cover it, and then we have a sign that due to the fact that there will be children, it will be covered.

http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/05/18/qa-chief-librarian-patricia-enright-on-the-harper-nude-in-kingstons-library/
We have it in our power to begin the world over again.  -Thomas Paine

Offline Dan

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Re: Nude portrait of Canadian Prime Minister hanging in public library
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2012, 07:52:00 pm »
The smile is not nearly as awkward as it should be (the man is incapable of doing a genuine smile) but it's nonetheless awesome.

The Tim Hortons cup is the cherry on the sunday.
"Politics is an ocean of toes" - Jacques Parizeau (1930-2015, RIP)

Offline cc71

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Re: Nude portrait of Canadian Prime Minister hanging in public library
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 04:28:17 am »
Sounds like the sort of thing Pierre Trudeau might have done as well

Offline uberreicher

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Re: Nude portrait of Canadian Prime Minister hanging in public library
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 09:47:23 am »
I can only imagine the outcry the social conservatives in the US would have made if there were such a portrait of George W Bush done while he was in office. I'm not sure with Obama, though. On the one hand they hate him with a burning passion, while on the other hand they can't resist convening any nudity that appears in  the public arena.

Offline Gman707

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Re: Nude portrait of Canadian Prime Minister hanging in public library
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 03:03:08 pm »
It sounds like the kind of thing david cammeron would do to try and seem 'hip and with it'
what's to say?

Offline DarkDippy

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Re: Nude portrait of Canadian Prime Minister hanging in public library
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2012, 05:30:25 pm »
Oooh, looking good, Mr. Prime Minister! Rawrrrr.

We're having a similar outcry in SA with one of our artist's depiction of the president with his penis hanging out. I just heard one of the ministers today say the painting was blatant racism. I'm not really sure why.

Oh, politics, how you lighten up our world.