No stranger to controversy‚ visual artist Ayanda Mabulu is bound to have tongues wagging again with his latest artwork on President Jacob Zuma and former President Nelson Mandela.
This is the third “Economy of Rape” painting shows Zuma and Mandela reclining in what resembles a throne with Mandela on top of him and with both their private parts exposed.
When asked about the use of the traumatic experience of rape as a visual metaphor in a country where rape is a pandemic, Mabulu retorts, “We are dealing with a president who is a rapist (in reference to the rape of the late Fezekile Kuzwayo who was commonly known as Khwezi). It would be something else if I were painting a person who is not a rapist as a rapist. Here we are talking about a rapist,” said Mabulu.
“My work is about the people. It is about the language of the streets. It is about the language that we speak in our homes…a language that says this motherf***r is f******ng us around”. Mabulu emphasises that his work does not necessarily explore queer politics, rather it uses the idea of a same sex relationship between cis het men as a visual device through which the shifting narratives between Mandela’s rainbow tinted ANC and Zuma’s ANC are explored.
You can see the image here (warning: graphic imagery).