Stephen Harper made a very quick and quiet exit from the public eye after October 19th. There have been no ‘sightings’ of the man for quite a while.
However in the last week – he’s getting a fair bit of press. It all surrounds the controversial painting “Emperor Haute Couture”, created by artist Margaret Sutherland. Here’s what all the fuss is about…… (please note this is a ‘censored’ image from the CBC website).
Danielle Potvin, purchased and hung the painting in her home for the last three years. She was a senior federal servant at the time of the purchase. Knowing that her career would be jeopardized for owning the painting, she was very secret about it.
Having recently retired and planning to move, she decided to find a new home for the painting. She put it on Kijiji and the bids started to roll in. The new owner is Frederick Ghahramani of Vancouver. He admires the work as a piece of “biting satire” that captures a unique and important period in Canadian political history.
He commented – “It really effectively captures the mood of a whole group of people in Canada for the last 10 years.” “I think it’s going to be a Canadian artifact.”
As for where “Emperor Haute Couture” will be displayed, Ghahramani plans to contact schools, museums and other institutions across the country that may want to display the work and use it as a discussion point about this political system and this particular period in Canadian history.
“Whoever wants it, I’m happy to get it out there,” he says. “I’d like to torture as many Grade 12 students with essay assignments about it as possible.”
I find it interesting that for all of Harper’s apparent distaste for ‘arts and culture’, this piece of art is making the headlines right after his exit from the power of the Prime Minister’s office. It is resonating with many citizens who are beginning to realize the extent of his negative sphere of influence in so many aspects of our Canadian lifestyle and culture.
All the more reason to believe in the old adage “what goes around, comes around”.
Here are two links for some interesting background on this story:
Share your thoughts about this story. Does it offend you? Does it make you laugh? Are you keen to see the ‘real thing’ when it comes to an art gallery near you???