Here is an article in the Kingston Whig-Standard on the subject of the painting, Emperor Haute Couture, a nude picture of Stephen Harper which was part of the Kingston Arts Council’s 11th annual Juried Art Salon and attracted national attention. People have asked me my opinion about the painting, and here is a response:
“While the manner by which Ms. Sutherland chose to use her artistic ability to comment on Mr. Harper would not have been how I would have expressed myself, political commentary is a valuable contribution that artists have made to society throughout history. This is what artists do — they use their creativity to provoke, to stimulate thought and discussion. That is their job, just as it is my job as an elected MP to keep tabs on Mr. Harper’s government.
At the same time, it is good that Canadians are stepping forward with their own comments about the painting. Mr. Harper’s office has laughed it off, but is this artist’s work an insult to the office? Not nearly as much as the lies and fabrications that are generated by some political operatives to bring down their opponents.”