Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Artist hangs giant portrait of Gaddafi opposite houses of parliament London

On the 15th March as Big Ben struck 3'oclock One of London's leading young contemporary artists Johan Andersson mounted his latest portrait from his 'Stolen Faces' collection on Art Below's Plinth of Peace opposite the Houses of Parliament.  The painting is a 2 meter by 2 meter oil portrait of Gaddafi.  He wanted to display this piece specifically in this space in the potential build up to Gaddafi's downfall. 
'It is likely the painting may get vandalised, stolen, ruined by the rain and pollution but I see this as part of the art  - it symbolises Gaddafi's own demise'  Johan Andersson
Johan Andersson has exhibited at the National Portrait gallery as the youngest ever to be nominated for the BP portrait award. He also recently exhibited in the V&A museum and last summer filmed a T.V series with Sky called 'Art of Survival' which is due to broadcast this summer.

Some Background about the Plinth of Peace.

In November 2010 amidst criticism from Westminster Council Art Below joined forces with Peace Strike to call upon artists to create works that inspire peace and an end to all wars to be displayed on the (2.5m x 2.55m x 1.25m) plinths situated directly opposite the Houses of Parliament.

'It is important that we put this plinth up for auction before Westminster Council destroy it' says Maria.

Maria Gallastegui, founder of Peace Strike has decided that all proceeds from the auction will go to a chidren's center in a war torn part of Iraq. 'It has good potential to heal and show that despite all the tragedy of war and the failings of mankind there are people who care and want to repair the damage in whatever way they can'

Maria has been living on Parliament square as a peace activist since 2006.  In 2009 she created the first plinth with welcomed assistance at the Kew Eco village.  The second one followed shortly in the Summer of 2010.  

On 12th January 2011, organised by Art Below a 3m x 2m canvas of a blown up photograph by Emma Stoner was mounted on the plinth. The photograph captured one of many dramatic moments from 'democracy village' when protesters took over parliament square in Summer 2010 for almost 3 months turning the green into a tented camp.


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