A Canadian artist has apologised for using photos of British comedians without their knowledge in an art installation in his underpants.The artist said he has asked by his wife to remove his work, entitled Streak-Shots, featuring 20 pictures lifted from an old and dog eared Edinburgh Festival brochure and copies of the Radio Times.
“She freaked out when she saw an image of Lenny Henry on the bedroom floor staring up from my gusset,” said the unnamed artist. “Then she went completely ballistic when she found a huge Mrs Brown in her knickers.”
One of his subjects, British comedian Michael McIntyre said he never expected to turn up in anyone’s underpants, art work or not, and that it was disrespectful and wrong to use his face without first seeking permission. “I feel slightly soiled,” he said via his agent.
The artist said he was “extremely sorry” and had never meant to upset anyone but it he was trying to make a statement about how shit British comedy was. Many of the works were now in circulation having been sold to collectors and “a few perverts” at hugely inflated prices. On the artwork, the comedians’ faces had ‘shit one-liners’ superimposed on them – which the artist had explained were taken from watching episodes of Live at the Apollo and 8 Out of 10 Cats.
However, the notoriety of his art work has resulted in a huge demand for it with an anonymous bidder from Tokyo paying more than £2.5m for a study of Sarah Millican which allegedly took him three minutes to complete during an excessive bout of diarrhoea.