WASHINGTON -- January 10 -- 24 hours before painting was to be sold, EBAY cancelled the controversial Bush Monkeys auction by artist Chris Savido. EBAY customer support promised that EBAY would alert bidders when painting was relisted.
ANIMAL publisher Bucky Turco is charging EBAY with censorship and mishandling, stating "Before EBAY took that auction down there was over 30,000 page views and the painting had bid up to $15, 300, more then 5x is listed price." But now, no one knows about the auction, and the painting has not received one bid. It's just not fair." The painting has become an international lighting rod concerning subjects from free speech to Bush's handling of Iraq. The auction was originally launched on December 21st with it scheduled to end on New Year's Eve. The publisher contacted two charity groups to get their 501c3 certificates so that the piece could be relisted and not violate any EBAY policies. Turco notes. "EBAY took all the momentum out of this auction. We had a great charity idea, and I don't know how get the word back out. EBAY is doing the NCAC and the IVAW a tremendous disservice. We are going to start aggressively contacting the blogs that featured the original story, maybe they can effectively get the word out." Some supporters, like Kara from the blog http://www.solutionassoc.com/truthfire/blog/ and www.commondreams.org have already agreed to help start spreading the word and have posted information on the new auction.
50% of the proceeds from the painting were earmarked for ANIMAL magazine's charity drive ART for FREEDOM which will raise funds to support anti-censorship and anti-war initiatives administered by the National Coalition Against Censorship (www.ncac.org) and Veterans for Peace/Iraq Veterans Against the War (http://www.ivaw.net).
Funds administered by the National Coalition Against Censorship will be primarily administered by the organizations Arts Advocacy Project, which protects artists' freedom of expression. Funds directed to the Veterans for Peace will be administered primarily by its Iraq Veterans Against the War subsidiary, which is committed to ending the war in Iraq and providing serving soldiers with support, and awareness of serious equipment shortages, especially body armor. Turco explains, "It's kind of absolute madness on behalf of the administration to not only ask these young people to fight an unjust war, but too also ask them to do with so without proper gear."
The EBAY auction title is "ART FOR FREEDOM. An extended mission statement, including details about the auction structure, administration and use of proceeds is available at www.animalnewyork.com. Turco closes, "Hopefully the press will see the importance of this auction. It attracted worldwide attention and the public should be informed, I leave in the hands of the press."
About Bush Monkeys
Since it was censored by New York City's Chelsea Market on December 8th, Chris Savido's "Bush Monkeys" painting has fueled a heated global dialogue on a range of
issues, from censorship to the war in Iraq.
The picture, which presents portrait of President Bush composed of a band of chimpanzees in a boggy marsh, was banned by the Chelsea Market in response to
pressure from Bush supporters.
The story has been covered by hundreds of news organizations, from the New York Times to the BBC. Thousand have logged into Yahoo and other online message boards and blogs to register their feelings about the piece.
More information on the painting censorship is provided at www.animalnewyork.com
ANIMAL is a leading exhibitor and publisher of new art from emerging urban artists in New York City and around the world. Animal's flagship publication, ANIMAL MAGAZINE, is published four times a year, and reaches a global audience of over 100,000.
Each issue features a group show of work from 40 to 60 artists that is also exhibited through the ANIMAL gallery in New York City.
Animal has won the praise of readers and critics worldwide, including acclaimed trend-tracker Faith Popcorn, who writes "ANIMAL Magazine ferociously captures the apex of cultural leaders through the exploration of art, lifestyle, and social phenomena. It's future-focused on a generation that pushes boundaries and sets no limits."