UK: Blair depicted naked amid his bloody Iraq legacy


Iraq triptych, by Michael Sandle

Xinhuanet reports:

Blair depicted as naked at art exhibition

BEIJING, June 7 — In a painting entitled “Iraq Triptych“, Tony Blair was depicted as a naked, stony-faced person and surrounded by haunting images of the war in Iraq, according to European media’s reports.

The painting, a charcoal work measuring 4.5 meters by 1.5 meters by Michael Sandle, was unveiled Wednesday at the Royal Academy of Art’s annual Summer Exhibition.

It has won the top Hugh Casson prize for drawing.

This painting depicts Blair and his wife, Cherie, as Adam and Eve, struggling to cover their nude forms outside their Downing Street home.

Behind them the figures are flanked by piles of bones, body parts and skulls.

“This is a biblical allegory — Adam and Eve expelled from paradise — and this is Blair’s legacy,” Sandle said, calling the Iraq war “disgraceful.”

The artist accused Blair of “vanity” for supporting the United States in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and said Britain had a habit of “interfering overseas.”

“He doesn’t appear to feel a twinge of conscience about Iraq because he is so sure that he did the right thing,” Sandle said.

“They have talked about the original perpetrators of violence being the ones who should apologize, but what about the 650,000 Iraqis who have died since the invasion?

“Who is going to apologize to them, and how?”

Blair is stepping down as prime minister on June 27 and will be succeeded by Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.

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88 thoughts on “UK: Blair depicted naked amid his bloody Iraq legacy

  1. Drawing of naked Tony Blair shown at art exhibit

    Artist Michael Sandle poses in front of his work, a charcoal drawing showing British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie being expelled naked from London’s 10 Downing Street.
    Photograph by : Getty Images

    Sharon Hong, Canadian Press

    An artist’s triptych of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, naked, stony-faced and surrounded by haunting images of the war in Iraq, is one of the arresting sights at a major London art exhibition.

    Michael Sandle, whose “Iraq Triptych” was unveiled Wednesday at the Royal Academy of Art’s annual summer exhibition, depicts a morose Blair and his horrified wife, Cherie, as Adam and Eve, struggling to cover their nude forms outside their Downing Street home.

    Sandle’s black-and-white drawing, in charcoal and chalk, includes panels showing a soldier beating hooded and naked prisoners and a pile of corpses, one with tape covering its mouth.

    “This is a biblical allegory – Adam and Eve expelled from paradise – and this is Blair’s legacy,” Sandle said, calling the Iraq war “disgraceful.”

    Blair has said he will leave office on June 27, after a decade in the post.

    Sandle has made several controversial works, including a 1986 piece about ex-prime minister Margaret Thatcher and the Falklands War, and a large sculpture protesting the Vietnam War. “I just do not want to spend my life doing pretty pictures,” he said.

    The artist completed his Blair work last month and showed it for the first time to the media on Wednesday. It goes on public display beginning Monday.

    He said he used photographs of the British leader and his wife clothed, and his imagination to capture their naked forms.

    “I made them up,” Sandle said. “But I was rather kind to her, I think.”

    Sandle’s piece is among 1,200 works in the Royal Academy exhibition, one of the oldest and largest art competitions and exhibitions in the world.
    © The Canadian Press 2007

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