Terre'Blanche painting set 'to provoke'
IF ARTIST Brett Murray's The Spear was controversial, painter Vusi Beauchamp's latest work is sure going to raise temperatures.
Beauchamp's latest work shows the late Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) leader Eugene Terre'Blanche with his murderer, Chris Mahlangu, on his lap.
The piece was created in February for an exhibition -The State of Chakra - that will take place in August.
In the painting Mahlangu sits comfortably on Terre'Blanche's lap, while the former right-wing leader is reading the Bible.
Beauchamp, who is known for producing "challenging and emotional" works, says his interest in the AWB leader's murder case drove him to paint the piece.
He says the painting is actually trying to question the possibility that Mahlangu's allegations of sodomy might be true.
"I was at home watching the news when the story of Terre'Blanche's murder was shown. That is when the idea of painting this work hit me.
"I know the court did not find any evidence of sodomy, but I could not stop asking myself: what if the sexual encounter had happened? Anything is possible," Beauchamp says.
"I portrayed Terre'Blanche reading the Bible because we all know that right-wingers always claim they are superior to blacks," Beauchamp said.
"In my painting the Bible is a sign of power. Right-wingers use the Bible to justify racism.
"They really consider themselves a superior race. The state of chakra examines how the ills that were inherited from our past affect our present.
"This is a conundrum we seem incapable of escaping even after 18 years of democracy."
Beauchamp says the painting was bought last week by local comedian John Vlismas.
Mahlangu was last week found guilty of killing Terre'Blanche.