IN PICTURES: 5 of the MOST controversial Jacob Zuma artworks

16 February 2018 - 00:00 By Paula Andropoulos
Ayanda Mabulu with his painting, 'Zuma-Mandela'.
Ayanda Mabulu with his painting, 'Zuma-Mandela'.
Image: Alon Skuy

Say what you will about Jacob Zuma, but our former president has been a constant source of artistic inspiration throughout his reign.

We look back at some of the most controversial Zuma portraiture:

1. AYANDA MABULU’S ZUMA-MANDELA (2017)

The consistently controversial artist almost broke the internet last year with a lewd depiction of Zuma and Mandela having sex.

This was one of the artworks Mabulu erected in an unsolicited installation in Joburg's Sandton Nelson Mandela Square on Wednesday. The installation was removed by the mall's security team and the matter handed over to the police. (Read the full story here.)

Brett Murray’s ‘The Spear’ displayed at Joburg's Goodman Gallery in 2010. (Painting blurred due to graphic content.)
Brett Murray’s ‘The Spear’ displayed at Joburg's Goodman Gallery in 2010. (Painting blurred due to graphic content.)
Image: Lauren Mulligan

2. BRETT MURRAY’S THE SPEAR (2010)

Brett Murray’s now-famous/infamous The Spear depicting Zuma's private parts instigated a great deal of debate. Some people defended it on the grounds of free of speech, while others insisted that it played into stereotypes about black masculinity.

Ayanda Mabulu showcases his painting 'Zuma-Gupta' at Joburg's Constitutional Hill in 2016.
Ayanda Mabulu showcases his painting 'Zuma-Gupta' at Joburg's Constitutional Hill in 2016.
Image: Felix Dlangamandla/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

3. AYANDA MABULU’S ZUMA-GUPTA (2016)

Atul Gupta and Jacob Zuma feature in another of Mabulu’s disturbing, self-consciously offensive renderings of a symbolically-loaded sex-act. In Zuma-Gupta, Zuma is poised to lick Gupta’s naked backside.

Zapiro's 'Lady Justice'.
Zapiro's 'Lady Justice'.
Image: Zapiro

4. ZAPIRO’S LADY JUSTICE (2008)

This ultra-subversive – but somewhat problematic – depiction of Zuma poised to rape the personification of The Justice System was even more controversial than cartoonist Zapiro’s original showerhead cartoon.

Anton Kannemeyer with his artwork 'R is for Respect' at the Stevenson Gallery in Joburg in 2015. (Painting blurred due to graphic content.)
Anton Kannemeyer with his artwork 'R is for Respect' at the Stevenson Gallery in Joburg in 2015. (Painting blurred due to graphic content.)
Image: Daylin Paul

5. ANTON KANNEMEYER’S R IS FOR RESPECT (2015)

An allusion to Murray’s The Spear and the vandalism it provoked, R is for Respect also refers to the former president’s genitalia in Kannemeyer’s characteristically tongue-in-cheek fashion. It features a group of protesters holding up a banner that reads "Respect the President's Penis Now".

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