- A Danish artist who made headlines by painting an iceberg red has given South Africans an unusual gift to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the end of apartheid.
Chilean born artist Marco Evaristti poured a gallon of red organic dye into a fountain at Johannesburg’s upmarket Mandela Square shopping mall late Sunday. He said the gesture was to beautify a “very badly proportioned and really ugly” statue of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela, standing next to the fountain.
“I want to make something pretty for the country to celebrate its 10 years of democracy,” he said in a telephone interview Monday with The Associated Press. “I want to bring some happiness.”
Evaristti, who turned 41 Sunday, called the work “Pink Elephant in Mandela Square.”
“I first wanted to paint a real elephant pink, but authorities wanted $7,490 for it. So I rather went for the statue,” he said.
Officials at Mandela Square declined to comment, saying they were still dealing with the matter.
“The management wants me to pay for damages, but I refuse,” Evaristti said. “I will rather go to trial and exercise my right to free speech.”
….On Thursday, he brings his unique brand of art to Canada before continuing to France. He declined to say what he has planned in those countries, because he said authorities might try to stop him. “But it will be beautiful,” he said. [AP]
Heartiest congats to South Africa for the more or less bloodless move to democracy.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of the fountain work. It doesn’t sound nearly as impressive as the iceberg, though.
I will be watching for his art attacks on Canada and France.