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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 December 2004, 09:42 GMT
New life for Bush monkey poster
Bush Monkeys by Chris Savido

A controversial portrait of President George W Bush, formed using monkey heads, has been projected on a giant billboard in Manhattan.

Chris Savido's acrylic painting, Bush Monkeys, prompted gallery managers to close down a 60-piece show at New York's Chelsea Market last week.

Anonymous donors subsequently paid for the picture to be posted over the entrance to Holland Tunnel for a month.

Some 400,000 drivers are expected to see the billboard each day.

The small painting appears to be a portrait of Mr Bush but on closer inspection is made up of monkey heads in marshes.

Managers of Chelsea Market have refused to be drawn on why the original exhibition was closed down but their decision has provoked accusations of censorship.

'Beautiful expression'

The organisers of the original exhibition, art publishers Animal Magazine, said it had been contacted by anonymous donors who wanted it to be seen by a larger audience.

"What has surprised everyone is that this image was considered controversial," Animal said in a statement.

"Bush Monkeys, by any measure, is an intelligent, civil and beautiful expression of the artist's frustrations with the current presidential administration. It is a wonderful example of responsible and effective political criticism."

The painting is now being sold on internet auction site eBay to raise money for a charity which donates money to parents of US soldiers who want to supply their children with body armour in Iraq.

The charity is close to 23-year-old Savido's heart as he says he has many friends serving in Iraq.

Money will also be raised for arts education in deprived areas.

Bidding has so far reached $4,000 (2,067).




SEE ALSO:
'Nude Bush' artwork dropped
09 Oct 04 |  Arts


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