LISTEN: Debate on Mabulu's latest work and what constitutes art

Ayanda Mabulu's latest painting depicting Nelson Mandela in a sexually explicit position has drawn questions over what constitutes real art, alongside the works of cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro.

Mabulu's painting which takes aim at President Jacob Zuma has been described as crude and lacking creativity - not far from Shapiro's 'Lady South Africa' and ' Lady Justice'.

READ: 'We don’t have to sugar-coat anything! We need straight forward symbolism!'

ALSO READ: "I can't take responsibility for racists engaged in those kinds of tropes"

While they have not crossed any legal boundaries in their right to freedom of expression and freedom of speech, Eusebius McKaiser describes the works of both artists as "lazy" and "uncreative".

I struggle to understand what the artistic merit is in it, like Zapiro's cartoon which is a riff off rape analogies in a country where rape is endemic. It is lazy, uncreative, I don't think its very sophisticated.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 anchor

Personally in my very subjective view point it is not good art, it doesn't make me think in an interesting way, it doesn't make me see the world in a particularity different way.... It is amatuerish, I don't see the artistic, the moral or the political value in this latest Ayanda Mabulu work.

Eusebius McKaiser, 702 anchor

Here is what some listeners had to say about Mabulu's painting:.

I would like to disagree with you on the fact that the painting isn't sophisticated....I feel like it's speaking about blood money. I am picking up so many things. I think the question is maybe sometimes we get lost in the hype and don't look at things and try to open our eyes to what it says. I think it asks a lot of questions about Mandela's role as well.

Keneilwe, 702 caller

We haven't asked a lot of questions about Mandela's role in the current situation we are facing in the country right now.....I see he is asking the question of Mandela's bad legacy, and sometimes we do need to interrogate that, he can't just be all heroic in our view.

Keneilwe, 702 caller

Its very distasteful. If that is art then it means artists have actually degenerated. It makes me wonder what values this guy holds, does he have elders he seeks advice from? Does he respect his elders?

Zamane, 702 caller

It seems as though society is hellbent on discussing things based on shock tactic, its the only thing that gets people out of apathy.... does it mean we have got to use that to get rid of apathy?.

Trevor, 702 caller

Click below to listen to the full debate......


This article first appeared on 702 : LISTEN: Debate on Mabulu's latest work and what constitutes art


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