Trainspotter 0 Posted November 29, 2007 Share #1 Posted November 29, 2007 Controversial Art BY LARRY McSHANE DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Thursday, November 29th 2007, 4:00 AM The photos are more post office than public library, more big house than White House. Half a dozen doctored "mug shots" of President Bush and other administration officials are decking a hall of the New York Public Library's main Fifth Ave. branch, drawing grins and gripes. "It's hysterical," Bennett Graff of New Haven said after studying the head shots and adjoining profiles of a particularly befuddled-looking Bush and a finger-wagging Vice President Cheney. "It's kind of bold, to say the least." Not everyone was amused by the pointed political satire. "It is simply inappropriate to have political attack art, in the form of egregious doctored photographs of the President and other high-ranking officials who have dedicated their lives to public service, in a taxpayer-funded building frequented by schoolchildren and the general public," said Matthew Walter, director of communications for the state GOP. The exhibit, "Line Up," is the work of artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese. Each Bush administration member clutches a clapboard, as in a standard mug shot, with the date of his "arrest" - a day when each made "incriminating" statements regarding the Iraq war. The installation includes audio clips of the administration members - complete with the sound of a flashbulb popping and a prison door slamming. Jim Strifler, 54, of Sayville, L.I., was stunned to see the pictures as he walked with his brother along the third floor. "We were like, 'What is this?'" Strifler said yesterday. "It's a library. Maybe this would be okay for a museum, but this is supposed to be neutral ground." It's publicly funded ground, too, although the city's library system is financed by a unique arrangement involving government and private funding. Strifler and his sibling complained to museum officials, and the pair plan a return pilgrimage to set up a rogues' gallery of Democrats: Sen. Edward Kennedy, ex-President Bill Clinton, former national security adviser Sandy Berger. "It's a one-sided view," said Strifler, an independent voter who says he leans Republican. Roberta Waddell, curator of the library's print collection, said the exhibit was in keeping with a historical tradition dating back to 18th century England, calling the mug shots a "relevant example" of political commentary. The exhibit runs through Jan. 27. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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