Monday, December 13, 2004

Bush and Monkeys

Well, I don't exactly know how the artist thought of it, but there is a remarkable similarity between George Bush and monkeys. "A portrait of President Bush, using monkeys to form his image has led to the closure of a New York art exhibition over the weekend and anguished protests over freedom of expression." The picture was a small acrylic on canvas that, from afar, offers a likeness of Bush. But when you get closer, you can see it is chimpanzees or monkeys swimming in a marsh. The artist did it to get a reaction from people and he did; the show was shut down. I love it and it really looks like monkeyboy.
My favorite monkey story, only peripherally GWB related, is from a zoo in China. We were in Hong Kong and I found a day trip into China (long story for another time, but...) One stop included a zoo to look at pandas. My husband had the camera and was asked to photograph the pandas. They were sleeping and, therefore, not playful.
As we left the zoo, we passed Monkey Island, with many monkeys scratching butts -- their own and others. We have many pictures of monkey butts. The last stop in the zoo was to see "the world's biggest rat." My husband was so cute -- he kept saying he had already seen them in our Seattle basement. But curiousity could not keep him away from the giant rodent cage, and as he approached it, he took a furtive glance (in order to avoid later nightmares). He said loudly, " I didn't know Richard Nixon was here." I laughed uproariously and still can picture him at that moment. What made it so funny was that we were the only Americans in the zoo and we were getting stared at the entire day in China. No one else spoke English well enough to understand his remark.
We were not laughing when we later realized he took no photos of the pandas, sleeping or not. Anyhow, the painting of GWB and monkeys made me think of that very weird day. In case you are curious about the peripheral connection between Bush and Nixon....well, I hate both of them.