The charcoal drawings of Brazilian artist Gil Vicente taking out George W. Bush, Airel Sharon, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Pope Benedict XVI and the Queen of England one by one with a handgun have caused controversy since revealed at the Sao Paulo Art Biennial on Saturday. In an interview published yesterday, Gil Vicente takes back the art threat.
Earlier, Gil Vicente told the press:
Because they kill so many other people, it would be a favour to kill them, understand? Why don’t people in power and in the elite die?
Brazilian bar association tried to shut down the Enemies exhibit, accusing the artist of promoting violence, but the Biennial curators sided with freedom of expression.
Then, in an interview posted yesterday on the Biennial site (in Portuguese), Gil Vicente stated that it’s not personal. Vicente’s targets are the corrupt political systems that allow these people to come to power and commit crimes against humanity and not so much the individual leaders themselves. Did the artist clarify his intent or did he puss out?