NEW YORK – A portrait of President Bush (search), made up of small pictures of chimpanzees, was removed from an art exhibition in Chelsea Market after the market's managers complained about it.
The painting by Christopher Savido appears to be the president from far away. But close up, and the tiny chimpanzee images can be seen clearly.
Bucky Turco, the show's organizer said he had the work cleared for display with Irwin Cohen, a Chelsea Market (search) director. But the management was still displeased with the picture.
"When we hung the show on Wednesday, we were asked to take down the Bush piece," Turco told The New York Times in Monday editions. "I agreed but said I thought it makes a strong addition and I would re-hang it for the opening."
But when Turco did, and the exhibition was opened, the gallery crowd also included a disc jockey and an open bar, inviting a nightclub environment. A market manager then told Turco the show was over and called security to clear the event.
"I said, 'Let's walk and talk this over,' and when we passed Chris' painting, he flipped," said Turco. The manager threatened to have him arrested, seize the art, and evict him from his office.
Although Turco wrote the management the next day, he was forced to remove the 60 artworks on Saturday.
Savido said that the rancor over the painting made him feel "powerless."
"I came to New York to express myself," said Savido, 23, of Pittsburgh. "I would never have expected this censorship to happen to me."